The case of Giovani dos Santos

After watching the Gold cup final, which was a fantastic final, I was amazed by the final goal scored by Giovani dos Santos. It got me thinking about how this young man has never managed to settle at Tottenham Hotspur despite all his evident skill. If you haven’t seen the goal look here.

Giovani dos Santos is yet another product of the Barcelona youth academy and broke into the first team around the same time as Lionel Messi. He was hailed as the new Ronaldinho and I must say he does look very similar to the Brazilian when he does play. He was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 for £4.7 million hoping to win more first team football. However his time at Spurs has seen him play only a handful of games. His commitment has been called into question by Spurs manager Harry Redknapp:

“If he could pass a nightclub as well as he can pass a ball, he would be all right.

“His mum and dad came over to see me last year and he apologised ­because they realised he wasn’t ­dedicated.

“He’s got bags of ability and ­fantastic skill. Suddenly he was late on Monday mornings … upset ­stomach. He’d probably been in ­Barcelona partying somewhere.

“He has had a great World Cup. If he knuckles down this year, he could be a top player.”

The comparisons with Ronaldinho are again present, however not the one dos Santos would want. During his time at Barcelona and Milan, Ronaldinho was often accused of worrying more about his nightlife than events on the pitch. I felt Ronaldinho never reached the levels that he did during the 2005-06 season where he was being herald as the greatest player in the world. Now a days he is back in Brazil having never fulfilled his true potential.

Harry Redknapp does not seem to fully believe in dos Santos despite his claims that he remains in his plans for Spurs. So far he has been loaned out to a number of clubs. Firstly to Ipswich Town in ‘09 scoring 4 goals in 8 games. Then to Galatasaray in ‘10 where he was reunited with former manager Frank Rijkarad, but did not score. Then during the last part of the former season he went to Spanish side Racing Santander scoring 5 goals in 16 games in La Liga. He has been a key player for Mexico, playing a vital role for them as they reached the last 16 in the 2010 World Cup. He also finished runner-up to Thomas Muller in the FIFA Young Player of the Tournament award. He has so far managed 11 goals in 45 games for Mexico.

Giovani is obviously an extremely naturally talented footballer so it is a shame that, so far, he hasn’t been able to settle in England. I would love to see him play a bigger role for Spurs as he is the kind of player that could offer something different on the pitch and that bit of flair and imagination that is lacking in a lot of English sides. The thought of him and Modric together would be frightening. However, Santos needs to learn that he is a professional footballer and needs to take that role more seriously. It does seem he is being distracted by all the temptations that fame and money would bring a young man. Just like jobs in real life, you can not go out partying all night and show up late to work and expect your boss to be happy. It shouldn’t matter how gifted a footballer you are, he should realise that he is being a paid large amount of money by the club so it’s only fair he act professionally.

It does now seem that his time at Spurs may be over as Sevilla and Real Zaragoza are said to be in talks with the Mexican. I hope he doesn’t end up like Ronaldinho, with people saying he never achieved all he could have. But rather have us talk about him as being one of the best ever.

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