It’s an unwritten rule in life that the rarest things in the world are the most sought after and most expensive.
It’s a rule which ranges from precious metals such as gold to the oldest antiques. It also applies to world-class centre forwards in the football transfer market. Most clubs want them whilst only a few clubs have them and those that do, are very reluctant to part with them.
We’re now in to early July and the window still has just under two months left before it slams shut.
Out of the so called “big clubs” in the Premiership, only Chelsea and Liverpool have flexed their muscles to bring in a new striker.
Chelsea have swooped to bring in Falcao on loan and though the Columbian has definite world class pedigree, the way he flopped at Manchester United last year marks the move out as a definite risk. Liverpool have acquired Danny Ings from Burnley in a move which is similar to their signing of Rickie Lambert the year before.
Ings scored 11 in the claret and blue for Burnley which hardly makes him a prolific striker yet his best days are still probably ahead of him and he can’t be seen as an immediate replacement for the goals missing since Luis Suarez’s departure.
With Falcao gone and Robin Van Persie seemingly on his way out, Manchester United will no doubt be sniffing about for a new striker.
Rumours have linked them with a move for Harry Kane but the fact that Kane is young, English and scored 31 goals last season, combined with Daniel Levy being a notoriously tough negotiator, means United will have to be an astronomical fee to bring him in.
People have often criticised Arsene Wenger for not bringing in a world class centre forward, making it seem easy to do so. Olivier Giroud scored 19 goals in his 36 appearances last season, and arguably if the likes of Diego Costa or Robin Van Persie had the rate of return then people would be full of praise rather than the scepticism.
Wenger has started splashing the cash in recent years, signing the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil and it was rumoured that he might be tempted to do so again, bringing in Jackson Martinez from Porto.
Martinez however has signed for Atletico Madrid for thirty-five million Euros leaving Wenger with very few options that are big enough improvements on Giroud to warrant breaking open the piggy bank.
Manchester City brought in Wilfried Bony from Swansea in January and seem well-stocked on an attacking front with Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko already in their ranks.
However the £25 million fee for Bony, who is arguably a third choice striker, shows the lengths teams must go if they want to bring in a centre forward.
Christian Benteke seems a viable option for any club who need strengthening in attacking.
He’s only 24 which means he has many years ahead of him and his 49 goals in 100 Premier League appearances for Villa so far is a very impressive ratio.
Away from Benteke though, what options stand out? Teams would struggle to match the wages of Cavani and co. at PSG, it’ll be impossible to tempt any of Barcelona or Real Madrid’s front three away at this moment in time and would anyone leave the likes of Bayern Munich to come to a Premier League side?
We often talk about teams needing to sign a world class centre forward but we rarely accept just how difficult that is.
With the recent dominance in Europe of teams from Spain and Germany, we may have to accept that the Premier League is no longer that exciting an option for strikers and come to terms with the fact that our teams may have to start shopping for the likes of Ings, Bony and Benteke rather than the bigger names.