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Most Overrated Strikers in World Football

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIOctober 9, 2013

Most Overrated Strikers in World Football

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    The notion of being "overrated" is somewhat difficult.

    It's hard because, at the end of the day, being overrated is often rarely about a player's talent. It's about the public perception of their talent and the expectations around them, which is tough for many players who seemingly get a bad reputation based on unrealistic expectations.

    If Marouane Chamakh was dubbed as a world-class striker, then we'd call him overrated. But in that hypothetical example, the onus of Chamakh being overrated wouldn't be his fault at all. It would be on the unrealistic expectations that were put on him and his ability.

    That's important to note here, because as we look at some of the most "overrated" strikers in world football, it isn't necessarily meant to be a shot against them. It's just as much a shot at the playing personnel, media and fans, when combined, can put unrealistic expectations on a player. Maybe not every time, but that's certainly the case in a number of situations.

    So who, then, are the most overrated strikers in world football? Here's five guys who have either been hyped too much or haven't lived up to expectations on them.

Hulk, Zenit St. Petersburg

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    Epsilon/Getty Images

    Perhaps not so much this season now that he's tucked away in the snow hills of Russia, but Hulk was certainly a hot prospect for many top-class clubs last year.

    He was viewed as a dynamic striker—one capable of hurting a team from any position on the field—and his transfer value went through the roof as a result. If it hadn't gone as high as it did, it's more than likely that the Brazilian would have ended up in the Premier League. However, teams should be glad that his value did soar, and that they couldn't afford him.

    While he has a rocket of a shot and possesses some spectacular highlight reels as a result, Hulk actually isn't all that good of a striker.

    He isn't anywhere near as active as what many managers desire out of their front men, and he shoots like he's Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Only problem is that he doesn't score like he's Ronaldo.

    Two years ago, Hulk netted 16 league goals for FC Porto and four more in the Champions League—a rate of 20 goals in 32 appearances—which was very good. 

    However, he couldn't show the same for Zenit last year, producing just 13 goals across all competitions, despite the club's attack being far more directed around him than Porto's was in the years gone by.

    Hulk has been nothing but a flop at Zenit and has shown just how overrated he is—especially given the money that the club paid and the hype they bought into.

Stevan Jovetic, Manchester City

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Stevan Jovetic was hot property amongst Premier League clubs this summer. Arsenal appeared to have the early running on him; Manchester City ended up signing him before the window closes.

    For a staggering £22 million.

    Given that the club already had Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo in their ranks up front, the prospect of adding Jovetic into the mix seemingly made the Citizens one of the strongest in the league. However, I'm not as convinced. I'd say they were already the strongest squad in the league—without Jovetic—and that the money they spent on him could have been better spent.

    In the minds of many, Jovetic was a "complete" striker and a bargain at the cost. However, those that watched him at Fiorentina will know he isn't that at all.

    Jovetic isn't a pure striker. And he's not a goalscorer, either. At least not by the standard of what it takes to be considered a top-class striker nowadays. 

    SEASONSERIE A GOALSMINUTES PER GOAL
    2009/106 Serie A goals367 mins/goal
    2010/11InjuredN/A
    2011/1214 Serie A goals167 mins/goal
    2012/1313 Serie A goals192 mins/goal

     

    Carlos Tevez was let go for half the price of Jovetic. He produced 11 goals and 13 assists for the club last year. In comparison, Jovetic had 13 goals and five assists.

    He is over-priced, and for the most part, overrated as a goalscorer.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham Hotspur

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    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    At his best, Emmanuel Adebayor can be a devastating presence for opposing defenses. He is skillful, powerful, and dominant regardless of whether he has his back or front to goal.

    The only problem is that Adebayor isn't at his best most of the time. 

    Having bounced around from club to club in his career so far, the Togo international has shown spurs of success, such as his 2007/08 season with Arsenal and his 2011/12 season with Tottenham.

    Yet as so often been the case with the 29-year-old, inconsistency has plagued havoc and cost him any chance to truly shine—leaving him with a severe case of being overrated and underachieving.

    Outside of the two seasons mentioned above, Adebayor has scored just 48 domestic league goals in his other eight seasons and simply isn't what he once was.

    Too inconsistent to be named every week, Adebayor's fall has been spectacular.

Karim Benzema, Real Madrid

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    Martin Rose/Getty Images

    Karim Benzema always manages to get a run on every "overrated" list. And the answers behind that are very simple: He doesn't score goals often enough.

    Domestically, the Frenchman has 55 goals in his last six seasons for Real Madrid, and while those might seem like impressive numbers, they're most certainly not the case given the amount of goals that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo has been scoring throughout that time. Benzema has the exact same support behind him as Ronaldo and then some—he even has the Portuguese international working to help him.

    I understand that the way the Los Blancos attack works is directed around their star left winger, but a world-class striker (which is what Benzema is touted as) would be able to make his presence felt in that team. A genuinely top-class striker—in that team—would be hitting 20-30 league goals every year.

    Madrid don't need someone to score goals against Galatasaray when they're winning by several goals anyway. They need someone to score against the likes of Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona, and far too often, Benzema has struggled to fill those demands of him.

    Benzema managed to keep Gonzalo Higuain out of the striker's spot at Real Madrid; now it seems he's doing the same with young starlet Jese Rodriguez. 

    Madrid need to seriously hope they don't lost the latter like the former.

     

Leandro Damiao, Internacional

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Let's finish with a man constantly linked in the transfer rumors: Leandro Damiao.

    Damiao, a Brazilian international, is often hyped as being one of the better strikers out there for clubs interested in making a move for a guy not currently playing in Europe's top leagues.

    Yet while the latter is certainly true for Damiao, his skills are not quite the same as the hype around them.

    The striker has struggled to make his mark on the Brazilian national team, and while he has picked up a slew of appearances, he hasn't done anything to set the world on fire.

    Domestically, Damiao has netted just 32 goals in his last 90 games in the Brazilian Serie A, and he has done so against defenses much weaker than what he'd face in Europe.

    I hate to be cynical also, but it's perhaps worth noting that Damiao isn't young anymore. He's 24. If his talents were really that good or were going to develop into a top-class footballer that couldn't be ignored in the transfer window, it probably would have already happened by now.

    For what he actually provides, Damiao is heavily overpriced and overrated.

     

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