Transfer Window Special: The Lower League Striker

Strikers are a rare commodity in this transfer window, everyone seems to want one from Premier League sides to League Two hopefuls. Clubs know that the second half of the season is where it all counts and the season is at its toughest, managers need to bring in someone not only to give the club a little lift, but ensure the remainder of the season is not left to chance. Fans and managers can look back at the first half of the season to see what has been lacking; the answer for a lot of clubs is goals. Unless you go abroad and find a bargain, strikers command a high transfer fee, but maybe this January’s smart shopping will be done in the lower leagues with players available if the price is right. We have decided to take a look who else is out there and who might be available this January in England.

Billy Sharp – Doncaster – 10 goals

Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp has a pedigree as a goalscorer. Sharp has played for four clubs during his career and notched 119 goals in all competitions having played in 259 games, a very impressive record. This season, despite a very difficult period after he lost his son, the striker has been bang in form scoring 10 goals from 19 games (2 of those as sub). Sharp is a 5ft 9ins 25-year-old who has his best years ahead of him. Sharp has made a career as a goal poacher who gets the majority of his goals from in the box, getting on the end of knock-downs or keeper parries. Sharp has a lot of skill and is very good at getting away from his marker, whilst also have good technique that allows him to create space. If he gets the chances, he can put them away. Sharp has already rejected a move to Leicester and will be staying with Doncaster unless a Premier League club come knocking.

Goal-to-game ratio Career: 0.46

Goals-to-shots ratio 2011/12: 0.47

Fee: £3m Release Clause


Jamie Vardy – Fleetwood Town – 17 goals

Few people would have known the name Jamie Vardy before this season, but after Fleetwood blistering form in the Conference, plus a nice cup run that was halted by Blackpool, the eyes of English football are on Vardy. He has been bang in form this season hitting 17 goals in 18 games, he isn’t the Conference’s leading scored, however he is the most efficient. Before playing in this seasons Conference for Fleetwood, he hit 23 goals last season to take AFC Halifax in to the Conference North in only 13 appearences. At 25-years-old this striker is another player who has his best years ahead of him and is still young enough to learn. Vardy is a two-footed striker who likes to take defenders on, he gets his majority of goals from in the box, but has a good shot. He is use to playing wide as a winger and isn’t afraid of running with the ball.  The one concern over Vardy is that the highest level he has played is Conference, but the boy has the talent. With Celtic, Rangers, West Brom and Fulham all registering an interst, the future looks bright for the striker, but he may find that Championship or below is his level.

Goal-to-game ratio Career: 0.77

Goals-to-shots ratio 2011/11: 0.62

Potential Fee: £500,000 – £1m


Matt Tubbs – Crawley Town – 17 goals

There has been a lot of talk about the future’s of a few Crawley players this window, which is a testament to the quality of their side this season. Few have got more column inches than exciting forward Matt Tubbs who has been linked with a move away from the club. Tubbs has been in impressive form, having already fired 17 goals in all competitions following his 40 goal haul last season. Tubbs has had a good record throughout his career which saw him play for Bournemouth and non-league clubs Sailsbury City and Dorchester Town before signing for Crawley. Tubbs is a 5ft 9ins right-footed striker who gets the majority of goals from poaching inside the box. He has good technique and create a yard to get a shot off in tight areas. He is a reliable finisher who works hard for his goals, Tubbs is also pretty good at penalties (other than vs Torquay) and has proven his credentials with his goals this season. Matt has spent the majority of his career around the south-coast before the Crawley move and old club Bournemouth have already come knocking for his services, but had a bid rejected. He is happy enough at Crawley, but you can expect to see this striker on the move in the near future as speculation continues.

Goal-to-game ratio Career: 0.60

Goals-to-shot ratio 2011/12: 0.21

Potential Fee: £750,000 – £1m

This entry was posted in Conference, Emerging players, January Transfer Window, League One, League Two, Player Profiles, Strikers, Transfer Deadline, Transfers. Bookmark the permalink.
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