£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.”

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
Sport
Hamilton runs down the back straight in the rain
F1
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing