So there has been a lot of talk about how successful this transfer window has been for Arsenal. A lot of the feeling is that we are still short of a defensive midfielder and a striker. Whilst I am sure we can all agree, a defensive midfielder is a must, the striker is a bit more debatable.
When talking about a striker, most people claim to want a ’25-30 goal a season’ striker. Now whether these people want that 25-30 goals to be in the league, or in all competitions, is up for debate…
Taking league goals first of all, I feel people are being a bit hopeful demanding a 25-30 goal a season scorer in the league. These are like goal dust. In the top 8 leagues in Europe (England, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Portugal & Holland), only 6 men scored more than 25 goals:
Luis Suárez 31
Cristiano Ronaldo 31
Alfreð Finnbogason 29
Lionel Messi 28
Diego Costa 27
Zlatan Ibrahimović 26
Taking into account that 5 of these players are not for sale, and the 6th is some random Icelandic who no one has heard for, demanding a 25-30 league goal’s a season man is very unrealistic.
So let’s open the search criteria to 25+ goals in all competitions:
Cristiano Ronaldo 51
Lionel Messi 41
Zlatan Ibrahimović 41
Diego Costa 36
Luis Suarez 31
Alfreð Finnbogason 31
Jackson Martinez 29
Sergio Aguero 28
Robert Lewandowski 28
Graziano Pellè 26
Mario Mandžukić 26
Edin Dzeko 26
Aron Jóhannsson 26
Wilfried Bony 25
Edinson Cavani 25
Karim Benzema 24
Gonzalo Higuain 24
Daniel Sturridge 24
Ciro Immobile 23
Marco Rues 23
Olivier Giroud 22
Gareth Bale 22
Alexis Sanchez 21
Luca Toni 21
Carlos Tevez 21
Wayne Rooney 19
Mario Balotelli 18
So just 6 players have scored over 30 goals in all competitions last season. And they are all pretty much ungetable, except for that Finnbogason bloke.
As for the other 9, you can cross:
Aguero (Plays for Man City)
Mandžukić (just joined Atletico Madrid)
Lewandowski (just joined Bayern Munich)
Dzeko (New contract)
Pellè (30 years old)
Johansson (Dutch league)
off the list, which leaves us with a ’25-30 goal a season’ target list of:
Not exactly the rich picking many were expecting? Of these, I would only really want Edinson Cavani, he is the only truly class, consistent scorer at a high level.
Now the other option would be to ‘create’ a 25-30 league a goal scorer. Sign one of the ‘selected others’ and hope that playing week in week out in front of our midfielders, they could go on to better things.
That is a reasonable thought to have, but then look at the list of selected others. Fairly high is a certain O Giroud, outscoring the likes of Rooney, Tevez & Balotelli.
A lot of people point to Mario Balotelli as the man they want. The 25-30 goal a season striker. But this is a player who has never scored above 20 goals in a season, and only twice scored over 15. Throughout his career, he has averaged 12 goals a season. A perfect example that some players are not as good as you might think. A perfect example of a 25-30 goal a season being hard to find.
At the top of the selected others are 2 names we have been linked with a lot over the years, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain. You would expect they were 25+ a season men, the way some harp on about them, but thye both miss out.
Karim Benzema certainly has the potential to score on a more regular basis. But in the last 6 years, he has only scored over 25 goals twice. And he is 28 this season, it is probably time to stop talking about his potential.
Higuain’s stats are almost identical, also only twice breaching the 25 goal barrier in the last 6 years.
Buying the top class striker is not as easy as some people make out.
Roberto Soldado had scored over 25+ goals for 3 seasons on the spin for Valencia, outscoring both Benzema and Higuain during that period:
And we all know how Soldado got on last year in the Premier League. Many thought Spurs were getting a brilliant, consistent, goal scorer. He ended up flopping.
A final thought on this subject. In the last 8 years, we have only twice had a player score 25+ goals in a single season.
Yes, we could do with further assistance upfront, but demanding a player who can score 25-30 goals on a regular basis, well it’s not that easy.