£26m striker Roberto Soldado impresses Andre Villas-Boas after scoring winning goal for Tottenham on debut

Manager Soldado can score 20 goals this season after his winner at Crystal Palace

Selhurst Park

Andre Villas-Boas believes that Roberto Soldado, Tottenham’s record signing, could provide the cutting edge the club have been missing, after the Spaniard marked his Premier League debut with the winner against Crystal Palace.

The £26m purchase from Valencia was calmness personified as he sent Julian Speroni the wrong way from the penalty spot and was generally impressive throughout. With Gareth Bale’s future unlikely to be unresolved until the end of the transfer window, Tottenham fielded four debutants, including Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and the second-half substitute Etienne Capoue.

All played their part in seeing off a spirited Palace but it was Soldado who caught the eye, and Villas-Boas expects the 28-year-old to reach at least the 20-goal mark in his debut season. “Of course, I think so. His career speaks for [itself],” he said.

“To see him so confidently step up and put it to the same side as against Espanyol [in a pre-season friendly] was important for us. It’s good to see him creating some chances out there. Most of these players arrived at a later stage – particularly Paulinho and Soldado, who had only two or three weeks with us. We can only sit and develop towards the future. Bearing in mind that for all them the Premier League is a different proposition to the leagues that they have played in terms of intensity and passion for the game, I think they did extremely well.”

A furious Palace manager, Ian Holloway, took more than an hour to emerge after the match, having made a beeline to speak to referee Mark Clattenburg. He claimed that there had been a foul in the build-up to the penalty and argued that Dean Moxey should not have been penalised for the handball from Aaron Lennon’s cross. “Was it deliberate? I don’t think he had a chance of getting his arms out of the way. I’d better learn quickly what a foul is in this league,” he said. “It’s going to be a long hard season for me with these people [referees]. I had this with Blackpool. Certain clubs get fouls and others don’t. Tottenham will feel that if they play Manchester United.

“Do I think I would have got that at Tottenham? No I don’t. I just want a bit of fairness. I want a foul like anyone else would have got one. I’ve got a horrible taste in my mouth after that. The lads were starting to believe in themselves but then in the end we had to change it because they scored. We had to go a little bit more gung-ho and we caused them some problems.”

Villas-Boas confirmed that Bale would definitely miss Tottenham’s next two matches against Dynamo Tbilisi and Swansea City with a foot injury, having played just once in pre-season. His departure to Real Madrid for a world record fee could mean the arrival of more new faces before the 2 September transfer deadline, although for now the Portuguese manager is still weighing up whether to strengthen his  defence, having sold Steven Caulker to Cardiff.

“At the moment we don’t have lots of options in defence,” he said. “We might still [make a signing] but we haven’t decided yet.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?