Jozy Altidore Transfer Speculation: 7 EPL Clubs Who Could Sign Him This Summer
This week, Jozy Altidore completed the most prolific season any American has ever had in Europe, in which he scored 31 goals in all competitions and helped his team, AZ Alkmaar, to the Dutch Cup.
Altidore is widely expected to be transferred this summer as AZ look to cash in on his services for a fee believed to be around $5 million. While this is substantial, it pales in comparison to the $10 million Villarreal paid for him to come to Spain from the New York Red Bulls in 2008.
For his part, Altidore has been saying the right things. He recently told Yanks Abroad, “I'm certainly in no rush to jump ship.”
For Altidore, there are many considerations and his past experience bouncing around Europe has made him realize the value of stability at AZ. In a recent interview on The Best Soccer Show, Altidore said, “I'm not 18 anymore. I'm not going to just jump at something—I have experience now. I know what I'm looking for in a club, I know what I'm looking for in an environment. If that doesn't feel right, I'm not going to make (a move).”
The 2013-14 season is also a tricky one as it is a World Cup year. If Altidore transfers and then struggles to settle in, or regularly make the lineup at a new club, he could potentially lose his place on the United States men’s national team as the team gears up for Brazil in the summer of 2014.
With all of those things to consider, here are seven English Premier League clubs who might make a bid to bring the American striker to England.
It may seem a stretch for Altidore to return to Hull City, where he made 28 league appearances during the Tigers doomed 2009-10 campaign, but Altidore was clearly watching as Hull won promotion back to the EPL two weeks ago.
While Hull would surely love to have Altidore back, it is doubtful he would want to go to a club which will likely be on its backfoot for the bulk of the 2013-14 season.
Stoke is one of a few EPL clubs who seem to believe there is value in signing American players. Over the past year, Stoke have signed Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Brek Shea.
Stoke are also desperate for goals as they have only scored 33 this season, the second-worst total in the league.
The downside of any move to Stoke is that the team usually plays a single-striker set, which is exactly the type of format that Altidore has struggled with while playing for Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT. Stoke also already have two big target forwards in Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome.
Benteke, who has been on a tear this year with 19 league goals, may be worth a $15 million transfer fee this summer.
If Villa lose Benteke, they will still have Gabby Agbonlahor and Darren Bent (however out of favor he may be), but may still look for reinforcements up top.
Tottenham is probably the most unlikely destination for Altidore on this list, but recent rumors (via The Mirror) have suggested that the club is looking to offload striker Emmanuel Adebayor this offseason.
Adebayor has only scored five goals in 24 league appearances this season, which is not worth his $150,000 per week wages. Spurs would still have Jermain Defoe, who has done better with 15 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions this season, but Defoe is often injured. Therefore, Spurs may be looking for some depth at the forward position this summer.
Newcastle rank 13th in the EPL in goals scored this season and never seemed to recover from the loss of Demba Ba to Chelsea in January.
Papiss Cisse’s eight goals in 34 appearances aren’t exactly lighting the league on fire and recent rumors (via The Express) have Cisse leaving for Dortmund this summer.
Fulham has a long history of signing Americans—at one time being known as “Fulhamerica.”
The Cottagers have little depth at the forward position and Dimitar Berbatov may be taking his 13 EPL goals to Galatasaray this summer.
Fulham’s next leading scorer is Croatian Mladen Petric, who has five league goals in 22 appearances. Fulham will need to sign a striker this summer.
West Ham is one of the most storied clubs in England, and has the added bonus of being based in London. The Hammers situation at the forward position will have a lot to do with what happens with Andy Carroll this summer.
Over the past few weeks, Carroll has been the subject of conflicting reports, some which say West Ham will try to sign him on a permanent basis from Liverpool (via The Express) and others that say West Ham can’t afford him (via Sky Sports).
After Carroll, West Ham’s next leading scorer is Carlton Cole, who has a paltry two tallies in 26 appearances this season.
West Ham will definitely be looking to bolster its attacking options in the summer.
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