GMS Academy member Andy Preston runs down the top 10 strikers to watch in the Premier League next season.
10. Ricky van Wolfswinkel - Norwich City
Norwich City signed van Wolfswinkel from Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon for a reported £8.5million. The Dutchman has two caps to date for Netherlands and has impressed with 28 goals in 55 league appearances for previous club Sporting Lisbon. Norwich scored a lacklustre 41 goals throughout last season. Therefore, it is obvious that a striker was needed, and van Wolfswinkel could be the man to poach the goals for Norwich as they look to improve on finishing 11th in their last Premiership campaign.
9. Wilfried Bony - Swansea City
Another Premier League new boy featured in this list is Ivorian international Wilfried Bony. Swansea paid a club-record fee of £12million for the highly-rated striker. The 24-year-old has netted a remarkable 46 goals in 65 league games for former club Vitesse, justifying the hefty price tag which Swansea dished out. Possessing a large frame, Bony could frighten Premier League defences and could forge a partnership with fellow Swansea striker Michu who impressed in his debut season, giving Swansea an intimidating and well-equipped attack.
8. Daniel Sturridge - Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge is likely to spearhead the Liverpool attack in the coming season with reports of Luis Suarez being sold this summer. The English striker signed for Liverpool from Chelsea for a fee within the region of £12million. He impressed the Kop last term, netting ten times in 14 league appearances, and will be eager to impress England manager Roy Hodgson this coming season with the 2014 World Cup next summer. He will also hope to fire Liverpool back in to Europe following a frustrating season for the Reds, who finished 7th in the league.
7. Michu - Swansea City
Swansea City gained many plaudits in their two-season stay in the Premier League with their entertaining passing brand of football.
Michu had an effective debut season, finishing 5th in the Premier League top scorers after netting 18 times for the Welsh club. With a year’s Premier League experience under his belt, as well as Swansea strengthening their squad, Michu will be expected to have another extraordinary season.
6. Olivier Giroud - Arsenal
Olivier Giroud completed his move to Arsenal from Montpellier for a fee of around £10million. After impressing in a title winning season for Montpellier the Frenchman had high expectations to live up to at Arsenal.
Although he only netted 11 times in the league for the Gunners he contributed vital assists for fellow teammates in his debut season. Being Arsenal’s only recognised striker for the season added pressure for Giroud, however with Arsenal looking to make big money signings this summer, Giroud could prosper from a bolstered Arsenal attack. The Frenchman known for his size, physical presence and heading ability could intimidate defences next season following a promising debut season.
5. Romelu Lukaku - Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku had an outstanding season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, scoring 17 Premier League goals for the Baggies. After making it clear that he does not want to go back out on loan, this could be the breakthrough season for the Belgian forward as he looks to impress new boss Chelsea Jose Mourinho. The 20-year-old 6ft3 forward is known for his size and for terrorising defences. He netted a hat-trick in a thrilling 5-5 draw against Manchester United last season, showing his potential as one of the Premier League hottest prospects for the future.
4. Christian Benteke - Aston Villa
Christian Benteke was yet another striker to gain much recognition in his debut season, as he helped Villa survive relegation, scoring 19 league goals, including a remarkable hat-trick against Sunderland in a 6-1 thrashing.
However, the 22-year-old alerted the attention of many fellow Premier League elite clubs by handing in a transfer request earlier this month. Meanwhile, Villa insisted that the striker would not be sold for under £25million making demand decrease. Following talks with Villa manager Paul Lambert, Benteke penned a new 4-year contract with the club. He has all the attributes to be one of the most feared strikers in the Premier League.
3. Alvaro Negredo - Manchester City
One of Manchester City’s summer signings- Alvaro Negredo will be looking to challenge for the title in a new era for City under Manuel Pellegrini.
City have already splashed out close to £100million in hope to regain the Premier League title from bitter rivals Manchester United.
Negredo could be the goal machine that City needs to replace the departure of former captain Carlos Tevez to Juventus. The Spanish forward has scored a notable 70 goals in 139 league appearances for former club Sevilla.
2. Luis Suarez - Liverpool
Luis Suarez has attracted the attention of Spanish giants Real Madrid, and fellow Premier club Arsenal. The Uruguayan has expressed his desire to leave Liverpool in search of playing regular Champions League football.
Arsenal have placed two bids for Suarez and are expected to make an improved offer closer to Liverpool’s £50million valuation for the striker. However, whether he is playing for Liverpool or Arsenal next season; he is likely to score many more Premier League goals to enhance his reputation as one of the Premier League’s most clinical finishers.
1. Robin van Persie - Manchester United
Robin van Persie has made his mark of the Premier League for 8 seasons for Arsenal, winning numerous individual awards including the Premier League golden boot in 2011/2012. The Dutchman signed for Manchester United last summer and has continued to impress, winning the golden boot for the second year running. As well as contributing heavily in United’s Premier League triumph, scoring 26 goals.
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