Every year at this time, all the clubs clamour for one thing – getting a striker on board. Not just any striker but someone who can give you 15 goals a season or 20 goals a season. Is it an important criterion to land the title? Very much!
If you have any doubts look back at history; just the recent history. The much maligned move of Robin van Persie from Arsenal to Manchester United landed the title for Sir Alex Ferguson. Everyone knows that it was the single difference between the two Manchester clubs. The goals from van Persie made sure the title moved away from City to United.
Last season, Diego Costa scored 20 goals for Chelsea and that too in a year that was littered with injuries. Manchester City ran Chelsea close because of Sergio Aguero’s goals. He is probably the best striker, if not the best player, in England currently and that explains why City challenge for the title.
If you look at numbers alone, then Olivier Giroud can also be considered an impact striker. But, numbers do not tell the entire story. It may sound a little harsh but Giroud’s goals generally come in lost causes or those against smaller teams. Of course, there are no simple matches in Premier League but a goal against top four opponents is generally much more valued than a double against the lower half opponents.
That tells the reason why clubs go for goal poachers. Manchester United and Arsenal are reportedly in the market for a world-class striker. But, where are all the strikers gone? The only names that keep circling around are Benzema, Cavani and Lacazette.
Benzema is reportedly wooed by Arsenal and hopefully he could be interested in a switch to the Premier League. Cavani is for long the target for United but there is no confirmation from his camp of an interest to move. On the contrary, there are reports that he may choose to stay in France for some more time. It is the same situation with Lacazette who said that he will stay at Lyon.
That brings us to an interesting question – why are the clubs not interested in looking at their own academy graudates? Arsenal has youngsters Chuba Akpom and Yaya Sanogo who are highly valued. Sanogo has made the loan move to Ajax knowing well that he may not get match time at Arsenal. Wenger hinted that Akpom will get his chances but if he signs another striker, he may as well be loaned out.
No club can imagine giving youngsters a chance while competitors run away with signing illustrious names. It is suicidal to our title chances to not strengthen with world-class names. No wonder that all the managers are running after the few available ones.