Richard Jolly’s piece tipping the summer transfer window as being one themed around strikers got us thinking. Here are 9 strikers we’re tipping for big moves and what clubs it’ll make sense for them to join;
Sergio Aguero- Atletico Madrid
Atletico is arguably the best incubator in world football for elite strikers. The honor roll includes Sergio Aguero, Falcao, Fernando Torres, Diego Forlan and Diego Costa. A couple of years ago, Torres made a return to his boyhood club to spend his twilight years while there’s been talk of Costa wanting to make a return of his own. It’s unclear how much Pep Guardiola wants Aguero as the spell where Gabriel Jesus and the Argentine were both fit saw Aguero dropped to the bench. Rumours also persist of Guardiola’s interest in other strikers. Atletico make logical sense- City won’t be selling to a rival. Antoine Griezmann is likely to leave in the summer so Aguero could replace him as the club’s marquee player as the club make their journey to a new stadium.
Kylian Mbappe – Real Madrid
Kylian Mbappe is the best teenager in world football right now. Legitimately feted as the next Thierry Henry, he could follow in the footsteps of France and Arsenal’s goalscorer by signing a deal to take him from Monaco to Madrid. It’s a little known fact that Henry also agreed to join Real as a youngster but the transfer was not processed by FIFA over some irregularities. It’s also worthy of note, that for all intents and purposes, the transfer window is a dick swinging contest between the elite clubs. How else do Real remind us that they are the self proclaimed biggest club in the world than signing the most highly rated young player in football after missing out on Paul Pogba last summer? It’ll also strengthen the club for the inevitable day Cristiano Ronaldo becomes a mere mortal.
Alvaro Morata- Arsenal
Arsenal need something, anything to stem the negative tide at the Emirates. No one knows what Arsene Wenger has planned but it’ll make sense to build a new team around the Spanish striker who will be an instant upgrade on the underrated Olivier Giroud who has done the job of scoring goals and bringing his teammates into games with a combination of a deceptively deft touch and his aerial prowess. What he lacks though is mobility, an area Morata’s better at. In recent years, Arsenal have retained a Latin flavor so one will expect Morata to feel at home.
Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang- Manchester City
Dortmund resisted the temptation to cash in on the Gabon international last year. Pep Guardiola’s first year in England has been of the underwhelming variation. Next season, it’s expected the Catalan manager will up the ante by cutting loose those he’s unimpressed with and build the team in his image. Aubameyang has probably gone as far as he can with Dortmund so would probably be indulged were he to show interest in making the plunge.
Romelu Lukaku- Chelsea
Diego Costa’s form has declined since the turn of the year and part of the problem for this lies in the fact that the aggressive forward has no equal in the Chelsea side. Conte doesn’t trust Michy Batshuayi so Costa has had to bear the burden of scoring goals and wearing defenders out on his own. It’s become increasingly obvious that Lukaku has no interest in staying at Everton. Lukaku’s odds on to win the Golden Boot this year so has surely earned his return to former club, Chelsea. The money might be an issue but Chelsea have never been shy to splash the cash when needed and Lukaku is a stylistic fit.
Antoine Griezmann- Manchester United
Just like it was rumoured for almost 6 months that Jose Mourinho would take over from Louis van Gaal at the end of last season, Griezmann to United has been rumoured for a while. As there’s no smoke without fire, it’ll suggest the deal’s almost done. Griezmann represents the type of top tier talent United need as they prepare to cut Wayne Rooney off and the uncertainty over Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future continues. Griezmann’s time at Atletico brings to mind the career of Michaeal Ballack- a famed 2nd placer. It doesn’t seem Diego Simeone intends on staying long term and whilst they’ve gotten close and broken though once, the Barcelona and Real hegemony stands strong. They could cash in now and secure younger talents who will not be defined by the near successes of the Griezmann era.
Alexis Sanchez – PSG
Alexis will have 12 months on his deal in the summer. Were Arsenal to decide it’s not worth allowing him walk on a free, they’ll be particularly disposed to letting him go to a foreign club as opposed to a domestic rival. PSG are in need of an elite forward to bolster their ranks and after a couple of relatively conservative couple of transfer windows are in a position to splurge.
Daniel Sturridge – West Ham
West Ham are a London club with delusions of grandeur. Daniel Sturridge on his day is a top class forward. However, his days have been quite rare since Jurgen Klopp turned up on the red side of Merseyside. Sturridge’s injury woes haven’t particularly helped. As Liverpool seek to make a return to Europe and the pressure for Klopp to instigate a proper title bid heightens, the German will probably seek to build the team more in his image. The London factor and West Ham’s finances mean Sturridge could probably get a deal that works for all.
Alexandre Lacazette – Atletico or Arsenal
Arsenal bid for Lacazette last summer and when it was obvious the Frenchman wasn’t going to make the trouble required to force a move and the notoriously stingy Lyon Chairman, Jean-Michel Aulas made it clear he was going to get market rate for his striker they opted against it. It’s been another season of Lacazette doing what Lacazette does: banging goals of all shapes and sizes yet being overlooked by the French national team selectors. Lyon’s failure to push Monaco and PSG to the wire could be taken as proof that Lacazette has earned the opportunity to try his hands at a bigger club. Were Arsene Wenger to stay on at the club, Lacazette could be moved to joining a club with a rich French heritage? If Griezmann leaves Atletico, Lacazette should be a credible replacement.