What a difference a few months and one player can make to a team. Liverpool seem completely different from the team that was rampaging through opponents in the latter part of the 2013-2014 campaign.
Formerly averaging close to three goals per game, they have fallen down to a goal per game, partly thanks defensive lapses. While the purchases of Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli were supposed to fill the void created by the departure of Suarez, the truth is that they have been nowhere close to doing that.
With Daniel Sturridge being injured for a long time and increasing pressure on Brendan Rodgers, the situation warrants the purchase of a top striker who can get 30 goals a season and recapture the great feeling around Anfield from last season.
Arsenal have fared marginally better but still do not have a reliable and consistent goal scorer who can help make them the push for the championship. Olivier Giroud continues to blow hot and cold while Danny Welbeck has continued to be a work-in-progress since his Manchester United days.
It is safe to say that the Gunners have been surviving on the performances of Sanchez alone. Diego Costa has proved this season that the lack of prior Premier League experience need not necessarily stop a striker from taking the competition by storm.
The following strikers could fill the gaps in the respective side for the number nine position...
One of the top three strikers in the world at this moment, Edinson Cavani has the pace and the height to trouble any defence while scoring goals at every opportunity possible. He has the perfect physical attributes for the premier league and displays a temperament which is similar to fellow South American, Alexis Sanchez.
His record of 78 goals in 104 games for Napoli was outstanding. He has been forced to play a supporting role to Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG but still has 23 goals from 45 games. The transfer fee for Cavani could be anywhere around £45million.
If Radamel Falcao leaves Manchester United next season, as touted by some reports, he could go anywhere in the world. His buyout clause is £43million, a steep price like that of Cavani’s. Falcao, up until his horrific knee injury, was easily the best striker in the world with his record for Atletico Madrid standing testimony to that.
He is a superb finisher and has the pace to beat defenders; his work rate and ability to provide his teammates with assists warrant special mentions. Both teams must remember the case of Carlos Tevez who left United after a two-year loan spell to join arch rivals Manchester City.
Falcao would more than fulfil the void left by Luis Suarez at Liverpool. His goal scoring record of 52 goals in 68 games at Atletico Madrid is the stuff of legends. Both teams would have to fight off competition from Juventus and Real Madrid.
Martinez is another South American who boasts of a great goal scoring record for Porto in the Portuguese league, with 59 goals from 76 games. He was reportedly a target for Arsenal in the past.
While he did not feature much for Columbia during the World Cup, his Champions League experience will hold him in good stead when he decides to make the shift to England. He is touted as one of the most dangerous strikers in world football today. His price tag has been mooted around the £30million mark.
The arrival of Wilfred Bony has pushed Jovetic further down the pecking order ,despite the expectations that followed him when he first arrived on English shores from Italy. A mixture of bad luck with injuries and lack of sufficient first team opportunities is sure to have frustrated the exciting striker.
A change of scenario and some confidence from a new manager could have Jovetic terrorising defences the way he did in Italy. He could cost anywhere between £20-25million.
Benteke is a striker every team would love to have. He is a big strong lad who has furious pace, the ability to beat defences and composure in front of goal. Also not to be forgotten is his aerial ability from set pieces.
The Belgium international surprised everyone by signing an extension at Villa Park when a move to big club looked on the cards though a nasty knee injury did sideline him for the best part of 2014, knocking him out of the world cup.
He reminded everyone of his ability by scoring a sublime goal against Manchester United at Villa Park this season. His compatriot Romelu Lukaku cost £28million and his price would be expected to be around the same mark.
Probably the prime reason behind Lyon being top of the table in the French ligue 1, Alexandra Lacazette has scored 20 goals this season already. His lightning sharp pace and ability in front of the goal has made many of the big teams sit up and take notice.
However, what remains to be seen is whether he is consistent and can make the transition from France to the demanding rigour of English football. Liverpool have often been linked with him by the newspapers. He would cost anywhere upwards of £20million.
Another striker who missed the World Cup because of a devastating knee injury, he is known for his technical ability as a striker and for his good decision making skills when he gets into goalscoring positions.
Rodriguez has been a consistent performer for Southampton and has roused interest in many of the Premier League giants. If he does join Liverpool, he will be the fourth Southampton player to do so in the last year. He scored 15 goals and given three assists in the 2013-2014 season before his injury. He will reportedly cost around £20-£25 million.
Austin leaving Queens Park Rangers at the end of the season is the only definitive thing for the Hoops this season. He currently sits third in the highest goalscorers list in the Premier League this season and has proved to be the ultimate rags to riches story.
Austin is a brilliant finisher as was proved by his goal against Southampton earlier this season. He has scored 13 goals and given three assists so far this season. His goal scoring record for QPR has been phenomenal, with a return of 30 goals from 50 games, which would probably see him cost in the region of £20million.
Ings has been the catalyst behind Burnley’s turnaround towards the end of 2014. He is the quintessential striker, possessing all the qualities expected from a classic number nine. He has a fine goal scoring record for Burnley and has been impressive in his first season in the Premier League.
The 22-year-old has also been touted as a target for Tottenham, Arsenal’s rivals. He could cost anywhere between £7-£10 million in the January transfer window, but is out of contract at the end of the season, so a Bosman free transfer is probably more likely.
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