Premier League Opinion: Top 5 Premier League strikers of the season
Goals are an extremely vital commodity in football and while some of the world’s best players make it seem like it’s easy work. Ask any Chelsea fan and they’ll tell you just how hard it is to find the right striker for the side.
With the game developing and advancing in the forward direction every day, the importance of a top striker is now higher than ever.
Premier League clubs have often boasted some of the most aggressive and prolific strikers and teams like Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United are prime examples of how much good having a world-class striker in your ranks can have.
The production line for a striker isn’t very long anymore and that’s why teams are having to be more careful with their transfers as well.
Manchester United and Chelsea are two sides who have struggled to find any kind of rhythm in the striker’s role right from the opening day of the season and despite their strong options for the position, the lack of goals from a forward presence has certainly affected their progress this season.
Here are the Top 5 Premier League strikers of the season:
5- Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
The former Manchester United reject has really stepped up to the plate for Crystal Palace this season.
When all of their strikers were misfiring, Zaha was jolly on the spot to move into the vacant striker’s role and did a proper job of it as well. He scored some crucial goals along the way – some of them utter gems that he’ll never forget.
4- Roberto Firmino – Liverpool
The Brazilian striker can often be found dropping into the space between the two Liverpool centre-halves in an attempt to pick up the ball.
An extremely unorthodox striker, Jurgen Klopp deploys Firmino almost as a playmaker to bring the talented and pacy Reds wingers into the place more easily.
3- Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal
The Gabonese forward won the Premier League golden boot this season and although he had to share it with two other players, that’s quite an achievement considering that this was his first full season in England.
His trickery and ability to finish from distance have been crucial for Arsenal, who have depended on his attacking prowess at times this season.
2- Raul Jimenez – Wolves
The Mexican was a completely unknown quantity to the English followed when Wolves signed him on a year-long loan from Benfica.
He came into the side and absolutely took the entire league by storm with his dominant displays against some of the world’s best defenders. He scored most of Wolves goals and was at the heart of everything positive that Nuno’s men did.
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1- Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
Another year, another trophy for Sergio Aguero. The talismanic Argentine would’ve got fond memories of that sunny afternoon in 2012 as he guided City to another Premier League title.
So often his usual flamboyant self, none of the Premier League’s top defenders had any idea how to stop him as he ravaged them all along the way.
Arsenal must pounce on the chance to sign this clinical 25-year-old winger to solve wide attacking woes – Agreed?
Arsenal Opinion: Why the Gunners should go all out for Yannick Carrasco?
Dalian Yifang star Yannick Carrasco has given Arsenal a major transfer hint by admitting he is ready to move back to Europe. He also confirmed the Gunners’ interest during the January transfer window but had to stay put at the Chinese club due to some difficulties.
The Belgium international, 25, joined Dalian Yifang from Atletico Madrid in January 2018. He now wants a return to Europe ahead of Euro 2020.
Now that Yannick Carrasco has admitted his desire to return back to Europe, Arsenal must reignite their interest and sign him this summer.
The Gunners failed to finish in the top-four in the Premier League but have a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season by winning the Europa League.
They face Chelsea in the Europa League final and a win at Baku would not only become the ticket to Champions League but also boost Unai Emery’s budget by around £25million.
The summer transfer window has started in full swing and Emery is expected to bring in reinforcements to try and challenge for the Premier League title next term. The Spaniard’s first season at the Emirates could be deemed as a success as he had big boots to fill in following Arsene Wenger’s departure from the club after more than two decades.
Now, Emery must make this transfer window count by addressing the concerned areas of his squad. One of the areas is the wing department, with Arsenal lacking an out-and-out winger except Alex Iwobi. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil have been tried out wide, but none of them have delivered as expected.
Yannick Carrasco could be the solution to the Gunners’ wide department problem. He has been in good goalscoring touch in China having already netted seven goals and assisted once in nine games for Dalian Yifang.
That shows his clinical nature in front of goal and while he would take some time to adapt to the Premier League, there is little doubt that he would be a success.
The Belgian is blessed with electric pace and fantastic dribbling skills which makes him such a threat in the attacking areas of the pitch. Carrasco’s ability to hold the ball in tight areas suits Emery’s philosophy, while his final ball quality is miles better than Iwobi.
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The former AS Monaco and Atletico Madrid ace’s power and direct approach also would give the Gunners an option during counter-attacks. Not to forget, his versatility to play as a wing-back when required makes the 25-year-old such a handy option to have in the squad.
Carrasco has solid European experience and is very effective in what he does, which means he can solve the problems in wide areas for Arsenal. Hence, it would make some sense if Emery signs the Belgian speedster in the summer.
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Arsenal Opinion: Trossard would be a masterstroke by the Gunners
The youngster currently plies his trade for KRC Genk in the Jupiler Pro League in his home country but has been linked with moves abroad in the past as well.
His statements prior to Genk’s last game of the season against Standard Liege pretty much summed up the situation and with the Gunners in the driving seat, this deal could well go through in the summer.
It has been suggested that a transfer away from Genk is on the horizon but the eventual destination wasn’t discussed.
The Gunners are said to have been keeping their tabs on the youngster’s progress for quite a while now.
He is similar to long-serving English star Danny Welbeck, who is expected to depart the Emirates after a 5-year spell at Arsenal.
Welbeck’s imminent departure and the fact that a majority of the goalscoring responsibilities have fallen on the shoulders of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang means that the Gunners must make some serious moves in the upcoming transfer market.
One of the main problem areas of Arsenal this season has been on the flanks. While the defence has been nothing short of catastrophic, the lack of natural wingers in their squad has come back to haunt them this season.
To add salt to their wounds, Emery’s style revolves around balls being played into the box and if there’s nobody to deliver the crosses, the striker is never going to score.
Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been the two players regularly used on the flanks. While the latter is also not a natural winger, the former’s inconsistencies have certainly deterred his progress in the Gunners side.
The addition of Trossard would come as a wake-up call to the rest of the attacking players at the Emirates.
While Genk are said to be holding for a fee in the region of £20m, his figures this season certainly warrant that amount.
Having played 24 league games for Genk this season, the youngster has netted 11 times and he’s even managed to provide a further 4 assists. His disciplinary record is excellent too as he didn’t pick up a single booking all campaign.
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Extremely creative and quick on the ball, Trossard has certainly come up in the footsteps of all the talented Belgian wingers that have recently come through the ranks.
While a comparison to Eden Hazard wouldn’t be fair, in due course, Trossard certainly has the potential to reach the same level and a move to Arsenal will be a step in the right direction for this young star.
Arsenal’s strength between the sticks would be formidable if they sign this 29-year-old Brazilian – Agreed?
Arsenal Opinion: Neto can provide Bernd Leno with healthy competition for the No.1 role
The Daily Star understands that the Gunners already have a contract offer on the table for the 29-year-old shot-stopper, with reports claiming that manager Unai Emery is keen to add at least another goalkeeper to his ranks ahead of the upcoming season.
However, as reported by Daily Star, Neto is unhappy with the terms of the contract and he feels that he is worth more than the wages that have been offered to him by Arsenal.
Also, it has been claimed that Neto wants assurances of playing the Champions League given that Valencia finished fourth in the La Liga and are set to play in Europe’s elite club competition next season. (h/t Daily Star)
Neto made a total of 34 appearances in the La Liga this season to help Valencia to a top-four finish. The Brazilian featured in 47 occasions in all competitions over the course of the campaign and managed to keep 14 clean sheets in the process.
The 29-year-old rose to prominence with Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense before announcing himself on the European stage with a move to Fiorentina back in 2011. He spent four fruitful seasons with the La Viola and managed 34 clean sheets in 101 appearances before switching boats to join Juventus, although he predominantly played a backup role in Turin.
Neto made his move to the La Liga for the first time in his career with Valencia back in 2017 and quickly established himself as the first-choice between the sticks at Mestalla. The Brazilian has made 80 appearances for the Spanish outfit in all competitions till date and a move to the Premier League looks very much on the cards for the 29-year-old.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are on the lookout for a replacement for Petr Cech, who is expected to hang up his boots after the Europa League final against Chelsea.
The 37-year-old is set to put a full-stop to his illustrious and distinguished career in English football at the end of the season, and while Arsenal have Bernd Leno as their undisputed No.1 between the sticks, the Gunners cannot afford to embark on the upcoming season with just a single goalkeeper.
The Gunners have someone like Emiliano Martinez who could play the role of an understudy to Leno, while the future of David Ospina remains up in the air.
The Colombian spent the previous season on loan at Napoli but it is still unclear whether the Serie A outfit are willing to make his stay permanent. Even if Ospina returns to Arsenal, Emery might not fancy him for the back-up role, having shipped him out on loan just a year ago.
Neto looks more like the real deal for Arsenal and it would be a good idea for the Gunners to have a top-class experienced back up for Bernd Leno, given that the German himself has struggled at times this season.
It is clear that Arsenal are not looking at Neto to dislodge Leno between the sticks but the Brazilian is also a quality goalkeeper at the highest level and his presence would ensure healthy competition for the No.1 role.
Known for his sharp reflexes and ability to keep shots out from all ranges, Neto is good enough to keep the German on his toes and ensure that there is no room for complacency.
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Arsenal need more depth in all areas of their squad to challenge for silverware next season, and while a new centre-back and a left-back might be high on the manager’s recruitment list for the summer, a new goalkeeper is also the need of the hour at the Emirates.
Having said that, Arsenal should not hesitate to sign Neto if he becomes available for a reasonable fee.
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