Lost behind the allure of the impending World Cup is the usual hype and fascination with the transfer window.
Aside from Liverpool, Premier League clubs have performed relatively few transactions thus far, presumably waiting for a chaotic post-Brazil frenzy.
Finding that elusive free-scoring forward will be the task of many scouts this summer. Three of the Premier League's top six—in Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton—all have a vacancy in this department.
If this trio were to switch employers, here's a look at which would be best.
First of all, it's important to tally together their Premier League production from last season.
|Lukaku vs. Remy vs. Bony PL 2013/14|
|Games||29 (2)||24 (2)||27 (7)|
|Goals + Assists per 90 mins||0.74||0.73||0.73|
|Shots per 90||3.4||3.8||3.9|
|Chances Created per 90||1.1||1.3||0.9|
|Aerial Duel Success||38% of 238||38% of 92||43% of 240|
|Successful Dribbles per 90||1.4||1.2||0.9|
|Dispossessed per 90||1.9||1.5||2.3|
|Stats via Whoscored.com and Squawka.com|
The first thing to note is just how impressive each return is.
All three strikers produced a season of high-class finishing, clearly boosting the campaigns of Everton, Swansea and Newcastle, respectively.
In Everton's case, Lukaku helped push a consistent top-seven side to the highest points tally of any club not finishing in the Premier League's top four.
Newcastle and Swansea endured rather more testing seasons, brightened—and at times rescued—by the goals of their main striker.
In terms of quality, there's relatively little to differentiate between them. Each produced a similar goal return for the minutes they played, involved in a goal in three out of every four matches played.
Aside from the elite, relentless performers such as Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero, this puts them among the top strikers in the country.
Lukaku is the more accurate shooter, Remy is the marginally more clinical finisher and Bony was able to fire in a more regular supply of shots.
Stylistically, it's clear to see the subtleties in their play and the system they were asked to perform in. Judging by blocked shot percentages, Bony (16 percent) is the more instinctive, one-touch finisher.
Lukaku (27 percent) and Remy (28 percent) are more likely to take a touch or run at a defender, also emphasised by their greater dribble success.
Bony's strength and control also offers the most in hold-up play. Lukaku was targeted a similar amount but posted a lower success rate, while Remy was rarely asked to compete in the air.
The Frenchman is far more slick linking up with others in the passing game, while also providing more chances for his team-mates.
Away from the numbers, Lukaku's blend of raw pace, power and intelligent movement can terrorise any Premier League defence.
So, what does this all equate to?
Were there much of a contrast, then it would be simple to categorise, but while there are differences in their game, each is adept at leading a line and firing in a substantial quota of goals.
All three strikers will produce a similar return if afforded similar opportunities next season. Therefore, the key aspect is value, a team's system and the player's age.
At 25 and 27, respectively, both Bony and Remy are the more finished products. Upon purchase, they have little potential to increase in value, which should be taken into account with price.
Bought and signed to a long-term deal, their value will gradually diminish as they approach 30.
At just 21, Lukaku still has considerable room to develop, making him a far more attractive buy. His value will continue soaring for the next few years, making it smart to sign him now, if at all possible.
If all three are available for similar fees, Lukaku is the clear choice to target. Despite the fact he will produce a similar return to Bony and Remy, his transfer represents far more sensible business.
Given how hard it is to obtain proven Premier League finishers, QPR, Chelsea and Swansea should think carefully before letting these proven forwards go.
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