As we wing our way towards the Transfer Window ‘slamming shut’ there will be plenty of banter flying around. Strikers are possibly the most in-demand position in the window as clubs need goals to increase their chances to both challenge and survive. There are plenty of Premier League clubs who fit in to this category and who need a striker, from the clubs at the top, to the clubs at the bottom. We have decided to take a look at few strikers who could hit the headlines as we approach the deadline.
Nikica Jelavic – Rangers
Nikica Jelavic is a name few of us would have known before the 2010/11 season, but there is no doubt we do now after his goal scoring record in Scotland has bought him to the attentions of the majority of UK football fans. Jelavic previously plied his trade in Austria most notably, where he gained European experience playing for Rapid Vienna, playing both the Champions League and Europa League. Jelavic is a big man, but has good movement and positioning and stays active as he looks for goals. He has great technique and scores a variety of goals; one-v-one’s, free-kick’s, headers or with either foot from inside the box, so is no one trick pony. The pace of the Premier League is the one thing he may struggle with, but his intelligence in the box will help him get goals.
Goals 2011/12: 17 goals in all competitions
Career goal-to-game ratio: 0.40
Chances of moving: A very high chance as reports in the media suggest Rangers are already negotiating his transfer as they are desperately in need of the money, but it will depend if his asking price is met.
Clubs linked: Everton, QPR, Stoke, West Ham
Leandro Damiao – Internacional
Brazilian internacional Leandro Damiao was first bought to most people’s attention following rumours Spurs wanted the striker over a year ago. Since then Damiao has been linked with a host of European clubs as his impressive goal scoring record has continued in Brazil. Damiao is a solid striker who can operate as a loan forward, but has no problem in a two. He is a big imposing striker who is physically a handful, but this is quite deceptive as the big man has a trick or seven in his locker. Another forward who score a variety of goals, Damiao has the added bonus that he is the type of player who can create something from nothing. He has everything a Premier League striker needs, whether we see him in England or not remains to be seen.
Goals 2011/12: 29
Career goal-to-game ratio: 0.54
Chances of moving: Low, the player has just begun a new season’s competition in Brazil and played over the weekend so with the logistics involved, sorting this before the window closes looks very unlikely.
Clubs linked: Spurs, Manchester United, Inter, Barcelona
Lucas Barrios – Borussia Dortmund
Paraguayan international striker Lucas Barrios has emerged as a realistic transfer target for English clubs this window after falling out of favour with Dortmund. Barrios has a great record at Dortmund having finished third top scorer in the Bundesliga in the 2009/10 season hitting 19 goals and followed that up last term with 16 goals. The truth is Barrios is a good player, a striker who operates mostly in the box, but loves to play off the shoulder of the centre back and thrives on getting shots off in the box. He has good pace, control and technique as well as good movement that makes him tough to pick up and will always lead to chances.
Goals 2011/12: 0
Career goal-to-game ratio: 0.65
Chances of moving: High after Dortmund expressed they are willing to sell and there will be plenty of interest.
Clubs linked: Fulham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Marseille
Hugo Rodallega – Wigan
We all found out what Hugo Rodallega was all about when he signed for Wigan three years ago and he looks like one striker who could be set to move this window. It is well documented that Rodallega is out-of-contract come summer and following comments from Martinez, it seemed likely Wigan would resist the urge to cash in on their star striker, but now it seems if a replacement can be found, Rodallega will be on his way. The Colombian hitman has not been as prolific in England as he has been elsewhere, but we know that he has enough in his locker to do a job. His pace and technique are his obvious attributes, but he needs to get in the box more to get more goals if he is to make a big impact at his next club.
Goals 2011/12: 2
Career goal-to-game ratio: 0.32
Chances of moving: High, Wigan will do the business if they can get a replacement in and have said they want a cash + player deal from anyone interested. The stumbling block will be interest of players going in the other direction.
Clubs linked: QPR, Liverpool, Arsenal