The transfer market is really starting to hot up but the English Premier League has seen very little action thus far in the way of Strikers.
You know, those all important game changers that make the difference between a title challenge or a Europa Spot, mid-table comfort or a relegation battle and even survival or the dreaded drop.
You only have to look at the impact of a few strikers purchased, both prior to and during, last season to evidence the difference a top Striker can make to a clubs fortunes -
- Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez became a household name bagging 20 goals in his debut European season, helping Manchester United to lift the title along the way.
- Luis Suarez looked inspired in pushing Liverpool to the brink of a European spot.
- Darren Bent saved Aston Villa from relegation. They finished 9th with Bent, if you took away Bent's goals, Villa would have gone down.
- Peter Odemwingie played a huge role in pushing West Brom away from the drop zone and into mid-table safety.
You only need look at Wigan's lack of recognised forward, which resulted in safety only being achieved on the final day of the season. In fact, Wigan were the second lowest scoring team in the EPL last season. That's something that'll have to change if they are to avoid a similar predicament this year.
The lowest scoring team were Birmingham and that earned them a one way trip back to the Championship.
Stoke, West Ham and Wigan actually failed to score in 13 league games last season. With West Ham relegated, it's pretty obvious where Stoke and Wigan's focus should be in this transfer window!
That's eight separate clubs who have finished where they did, thanks largely to a Striker or lack thereof.
This just goes to prove that one man, the right man, can really make a difference.
A brief outline of how I intend to break down each of these potential strike sensations:
Full Name: The players full birth name
D.O.B/Age: Pretty straight forward
Current Club: Self-explanatory
National Team: Who they represent on the international stage
Style of play: A breakdown of the players strengths and approach to the game. How they would be best deployed.
Estimated Cost: Based on rumours and similar level of ability player/transfer values
Suitable Club(s): Clubs where I feel he would be most use
Chances of success: Ranging from Slim to Very High. How likely the player is to succeed and what sort of risk his signing is.
Likelihood of arrival: Ranging from Slim to Very High. Based on reliable transfer rumours.
Jameo's Judgement: My personal call on the player and at which club I believe he would make the biggest impact.
On that note, I present to you, 12 Strikers Who Can Set the EPL Alight!
Full Name: Sergio Leonel "Kun" Agüero del Castillo
D.O.B/Age: 2 June 1988 (age 23)
Current Club: Atletico Madrid
Nation Team: Argentina
Style of play: Very skillful and extremely quick. Aguero has tremendous ball control and likes to get the ball down to feet and run at defenders. Predominantly right footed, Aguero is not really a prolific goalscorer (although he is coming off the back of his best goalscoring season to date) and would suit playing with a target man or out-and-out goalscorer. Provides a fair amount of assists.
Estimated Cost: £30-40m
Chances of success: High. Aguero is a world class talent who will only get better. He has carried Atletico Madrid for a while and is the son-in-law of a certain Diego Maradona, meaning pressure is a constant but it hasn't appeared to phase him. The only potential question mark is whether he can deal with the physicality of the English game. Minimal risk.
Likelihood of arrival: Very high. Roberto Mancini has publicly stated on a number of occasions that he wants Sergio to join Manchester City and even expects him to join the club in early August.
Jameo's Judgement: Aguero is on the cusp of being 'the' next big name player in world football. A move to Manchester City, who a number of Spanish speaking players, would be beneficial but he has big boots to fill as the shadow of Carlos Tevez will loom large. Playing in a City front three would give him the freedom he needs.
Full Name: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
D.O.B/Age: 5 February 1992 (age 19)
Current Club: Santos
National Team: Brazil
Style of play: Nimble and wonderfully skillful with quick feet and great invention. Good pace and plays without fear. Best as a second striker or a wide forward in a front three.
Estimated Cost: £27-35m
Suitable Club(s): Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United
Chances of success: Medium. A lot of comparisons will be made with Robinho, due to similar builds and style of play. Technically, he has the ability but his mentality is an unknown. Will he dislike British winters and struggle away to Swansea on a cold wednesday night? Medium risk.
Likelihood of arrival: Medium. He has been linked with Chelsea a number of times over the last 12 months but the rumour mill has been surprisingly quiet this transfer window. Maybe the purchase of Fernando Torres and return of Daniel Sturridge has something to do with it.
Jameo's Judgement: For Neymar read Robinho. Style of play, physique, and, ultimately, how I believe he will fare in the english game are all near on identical. Talented - not a doubt. Mentally strong - not sure. If he were to move to this country, I feel Arsenal would probably benefit most from his talents.
Full Name: Giuseppe Rossi
D.O.B/Age: February 1, 1987 (age 24)
Current Club: Villarreal CF
National Team: Italy
Style of play: Good movement, equally comfortable playing on the shoulder of the last defender or dropping deep and running at people. Wonderful left foot. Competent finisher from both inside and outside the box. Plays best with a strike partner.
Estimated Cost: £25-32m
Suitable Club(s): Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham
Chances of success: High. Has matured into a top level striker since his last EPL experience with both Manchester United and Newcastle. Obviously, familiar with the game here and the physical aspect shouldn't be a problem. No risk.
Likelihood of arrival: Medium. Spurs seem to be the most interested party on these shores. Barcelona was a potential destination but the arrival of Alexis Sanchez has scuppered that option.
Jameo's Judgement: A player I personally rate very highly. Rossi has come a long way since failing to make the grade at Old Trafford. The fact Barca viewed him as potential signing is testament to how far the lad has come. I believe Tottenham would be the ideal destination for Giuseppe, where they could build a strike force around his talent.
Full Name: Diego Forlán Corazo
D.O.B/Age: 19 May 1979 (age 32)
Current Club: Atletico Madrid
National Team: Uruguay
Style of play: Likes to dictate the play from up top. Has a great range of passing and fantastic off either foot. Excellent finisher from inside the box and has a wonderful long range strike. Has a great appetite for the game and still very athletic. Capable of performing any attacking role given to him.
Estimated Cost: £5-12m
Chances of success: Very high. Hugely talented, knows the English game and speaks the language. In my opinion, a must buy for any EPL club. No risk.
Likelihood of arrival: Medium to slim. No real buzz going around about a potential move but he was frozen out to a degree by Atletico at the back end of last season. Coming off the back of a great Copa America, I would expect English clubs to start looking his way, regardless of age.
Jameo's Judgement: Please, please, please, someone buy Diego Forlan!! The guy is fantastic. Don't forget Forlan was voted Player of the Tournament at the last world cup. Ideally, I see him as the fulcrum of the Tottenham attack. Free to room and mingle with Van der Vaart, Modric and Bale. The potential there is mouth-watering.
Full Name: José Salomón Rondón Giménez
D.O.B/Age: September 16, 1989 (age 21)
Current Club: Malaga CF
National Team: Venezuela
Style of play: Natural finisher, comfortable and composed in front of goal. Pacy. Decent presence at 6 foot 1 inch tall and shows good strength. Keeps the ball well. Right footed. Somewhat of a rough diamond. Could be an ideal target man, though not necessarily in the aerial sense.
Estimated Cost: £10-15m
Suitable Club(s): Tottenham, Arsenal, Wigan, Sunderland, Newcastle
Chances of success: Medium. One decent season and one strong season in Spain does not a guaranteed success make. Has the tools to become a fabulous player but with the right guidance. Medium to High risk...but worth the risk.
Likelihood of arrival: Slim to medium. Many people may not have even heard of Señor Rondon but his performances in the recent Copa America probably turned a few heads. Could well be available as Malaga are the latest side to attract Qatari investment and they are looking to attract bigger 'name' players.
Jameo's Judgement: Well worth a punt. Rondon is an up and coming talent who could easily get lost at Malaga under the weight of Qatari money and expectation but could just as easily prosper under the right sort of guidance. Arsenal would be the ideal destination, where Arsene Wenger has made a career of nurturing young talent.
Full Name: Papiss Demba Cissé
D.O.B/Age: 3 June 1985 (age 26)
Current Club: SC Freiburg
National Team: Senegal
Style of play: Like a cross between Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o stylistically but left footed. He is powerful on the volley and his will to win sees him pick up a few yellow cards. Probably bets used as a solo striker but playing with a partner wouldn't be an issue.
Estimated Cost: £7-12m
Suitable Club(s): Everton, Blackburn, West Brom, Stoke
Chances of success: Medium. Coming off the back of an extremely productive season, bagging 24 goals in 34 games in the Bundesliga, Cisse is a man in form. The fact he speaks English will do no harm either. Medium risk.
Likelihood of arrival: Medium to High. All the suitable clubs named above are desperate for a centre forward who won't break the bank and Cisse is that man. Very obtainable and wouldn't reject an approach from an english club who aren't in europe.
Jameo's Judgement: Potential to be a figurehead of the new African generation. Not one to welcome the limelight, Cisse is always keen to praise his teammates. Probably be equally suited to Everton or West Brom.
Full Name: Alberto Gilardino
D.O.B/Age: 5 July 1982 (age 29)
Current Club: Fiorentina
National Team: Italy
Style of play: A real poacher. Excellent movement in and around the box. Right footed and strong in the air. Equally comfortable on his own or with a partner.
Estimated Cost: £13-17m
Suitable Club(s): Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle
Chances of success: Medium. The tools are all there, he is a genuine all-round centre forward. The only real question mark about Gila is his mentality in big games - He has rarely brought his goalscoring talent into the big matches. Medium risk.
Likelihood of arrival: Slim. No rumours have been mooted.
Jameo's Judgement: Gilardino is the type of player I believe can thrive in the English league. For the potential money paid, he is more than capable of hitting 20-odd league goals - which would provide complete value for money. Arsenal and Tottenham would be excellent choices but I think Newcastle, who worship their number 9s, may be the best place to ply his trade.
Full Name: Pablo Daniel Osvaldo
D.O.B/Age: January 12, 1986 (age 25)
Current Club: Espanyol
National Team: Eligible for both Italy (capped at U21 level) and Argentina
Style of play: Good strong centre forward, decent off both feet and excellent in the air. Best deployed as a target man.
Estimated Cost: £15-20m
Suitable Club(s): Tottenham, Fulham, Sunderland, Blackburn
Chances of success: Medium to Low. For a 25 year old, he has already played for 6 clubs and, with the exception of last season with Espanyol, had a less than stellar scoring record. It's easy to put Osvaldo in the 'one season wonder' bracket but that's not to say he doesn't have talent.
Jameo's Judgement: Cost has been blown out of proportion considering he only played 22 games for Espanyol last season and scored 12 goals. A decent talent but still has a lot to prove. Fulham or Sunderland would be a similar environment to Espanyol where he has had his most success thus far.
Full Name: Grégory Pujol
D.O.B/Age: January 25, 1980 (age 31)
Current Club: Valenciennes
National Team: France
Style of play: Fantastic header of the ball, more than capable of scoring from anywhere in the box with his head but he is more than just a battering ram. Possesses a fine left foot and a deft touch. Finds space well in the box and has reasonable pace.
Estimated Cost: £500k-1m
Suitable Club(s): Wolves, QPR, Norwich, Stoke
Chances of success: Slim to Medium. Largely unknown outside of his native France, except for a brief loan spell with Belgian giants Anderlecht, Pujol would arrive with little fanfare and pressure. This should allow him some time to settle. Balancing out against potential transfer fee, only a medium risk signing.
Likelihood of arrival: Slim. No rumours or news stories suggest Pujol to be on his way to these shores.
Jameo's Judgement: Veteran striker coming off the back of an excellent goalscoring season at a mediocre club where chances were scarce should make him an appealing option to clubs with limited funds. Wolves or Stoke's style of play may suit him best.
Full Name: Nicolás Ladislao Fedor Flores
D.O.B/Age: 19 August 1985 (age 25)
Current Club: Getafe
National Team: Venezuela
Style of play: Very good finisher, mobile and a good link-up player. Best played as a second striker.
Estimated Cost: £3-6m
Suitable Club(s): Liverpool, Bolton, West Brom, Fulham
Chances of success: Medium. Miku does have a tendency to be a little lackadaisical at times and that never goes down too well with fans of mid table clubs, who believe work rate is king but he is talented and if played just off a powerful forward, such as Kevin Davies or maybe Bobby Zamora, I believe he could prosper. Medium risk signing.
Likelihood of arrival: Slim to Medium. Fulham were linked with him a little while back but that faded away. He is obtainable for a reasonable price if someone is willing to take the risk.
Jameo's Judgement: I think Miku is worth the gamble. He has the talent and I'd actually like to see Liverpool take the chance and bring him in as 3rd choice. Failing that, playing just off Bobby Zamora at Fulham, under the guidance of Martin Jol, could really see Miku grow as a player.
Full Name: Humberto Andrés Suazo Pontivo
D.O.B/Age: May 10, 1981 (age 30)
Current Club: Monterrey
National Team: Chile
Style of play: Excellent work rate, fairly physical style of play and always looking for space. Likes the ball to feet so he can run at defenders and partial to unleashing a powerful drive when he sights the goal. Could fill any attacking position.
Estimated Cost: £3-6m
Suitable Club(s): Swansea, Bolton, Norwich, Wigan
Chances of success: Medium. Proved at the back-end of the 09-10 season that he can cut it in a major European league when he went on loan to Real Zaragoza and performed admirably in La Liga. Low risk signing.
Likelihood of arrival: Slim. Linked with Wigan after his successful spell in La Liga but nothing more recent.
Jameo's Judgement: Has been prone to injury but last season he stayed fit and, arguably, had his best season ever. Considering he is an established international with Chile since 2006, scoring goals along the way, an investment in Suazo would be wise. Swansea's approach to the game would probably suit Suazo's style and reap most rewards.
Full Name: Juan Manuel Martínez
D.O.B/Age: October 25, 1985 (age 25)
Current Club: Velez Sarsfield
National Team: Argentina
Style of play: Very quick and direct, with excellent close control. Right footed. Very much a dribbler and would suit playing as a wide forward in a front three.
Estimated Cost: £3-5m
Suitable Club(s): Newcastle, Bolton, Swansea, Wigan
Chances of success: Low to Medium. El Burrito is the current Argentine player of the year, but it's only last season that he really came to the fore. A fairly high risk purchase as he has no experience outside of his native Argentina. High risk.
Jameo's Judgement: Just youtube "Juan Manuel Martinez vs Racing" for evidence of what this guy is capable of, but whether he can do that sort of thing in the EPL is open to debate. Probably still worth the risk for a lower end EPL club.
Thanks very much for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article.
Please let me know some other, less obvious, strikers who can set the EPL alight!