Reports are emanating from Italy that Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, has flown to Milan to open transfer negotiations for the acquisition of AC Milanâ€™s Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Harry Redknapp has been a huge fan of the striker. Last year after he had paid Â£9 million for Peter Crouch he tried to attain the Dutchmanâ€™s signature and stated:
â€œIf you look at his goalscoring record, it is incredible. If he is available then again he is a player that interests me. I think if any top-class player becomes available then you have to be interestedâ€¦.You cannot have too many good players. Competition for places is what it is all about.â€
Huntelaar burst onto the Dutch scene whilst on loan at AGOVV Apeldoorn from PSV where in a single season he netted 26 goals. At aged 20 he became the division’s top goalscorer as well as being named as the Eerste Divisie’s Player of the Season. He made such an impact at the club a stand at the ground is named in his honour.
He was unwilling to return to PSV and spend time on the bench so a transfer to Heerenveen was arranged to help him play regular first team football. The goals kept flowing and in his only season at the cub he netted 33 goals in 46 games.
His explosive form meant that Ajax could no longer ignore his talent and Huntelaar joined the team he supported as a boy for â‚¬9 million during the winter transfer window.
It took him no time at all to get acclimatised to his new surroundings and during February, Huntelaar scored nine goals in seven matches for Ajax, including a strike against Inter Milan on his Champions League debut.
Huntelaar ended the season as top scorer for Ajax with 16 league goals in 16 appearances and also finished up as the Eredivise’s top scorer with 33 league goals. He scored a total of 44 goals in 47 appearances in all club competitions that season. In all he bagged 76 goals in 92 appearances.
He was the Eredivisie top scorer for 2005â€“06 and 2007â€“08.
With the all the big clubs in Europe chasing his signature, Real Madrid reached an agreement with Ajax to sign Huntelaar in the 2008-2009 mid-season transfer window. Huntelaar joined Real Madrid for an initial fee thought to be â‚¬20 million, rising to potentially â‚¬27 million.
At Madrid things got off to a bad start when he was not given a place in Madridâ€™s Champions League squad, as the place went to his fellow winter signing Lassana Diarra. The director, Pedrag Mijatovic had not realised that he could only register one of the signings, as both had played in the UEFA Cup.
In his half a season at Los Blancos, he scored eight goals in 20 appearances (13 starts and 7 substitute appearances).
With the return of Florentino Perez and the Galacticos Part II project, Huntelaar was seen as surplus to requirements and he was sold to AC Milan in order to balance the books after the purchases of Roanldo, Kaka, Benzema and Alonso.
He was sold to AC Milan for â‚¬15 million on a four-year contract. However, he has been unable to win a regular place in the Milan side and has managed just seven goals in 28 appearances.
Harry Redknaap has gone on the record to say that he will only purchase a â€œtop top playerâ€ and the Dutchman is certainly that. Apart from his spell at Milan he has an incredible goals to games ratio. Even in ultra defensive Serie A and with the majority of his appearances coming as a substitute his goalscoring record in Italy is not bad.
Huntelaar is a classic number 9. He has a great touch, can shield the ball and bring others into play. He is an arch predator in the box. The Dutchman can create space for himself with the drop of a shoulder or a feint. The ball has an uncanny ability to end up at his feet and like all great predators his sixth sense in the box shines through.
Standing at 6 ft 1 inches it is unsurprising that he is good in the air and he loves a bicycle kick or two (see here).
Spurs enjoyed an incredible season last year but the one area that the squad really lacks top class quality is in attack. Crouch, Defoe and Pavlyuchenko were all found wanting at various stages last year and a great goalscorer is what the club needs.
There is no greater praise than what Louis van Gaal lavished upon fellow countryman when he claimed that “in the penalty area, he is the best player in the world, bar none.”
Huntelaar is only 26 and has his best days ahead of him. He is a signing that would really lift the club and Spurs fans should be happy if he decides that his future is at White Hart Lane.
Video evidence of all Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s goals for AC Milan in 2009-10 can be seen here.