Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Tale of Five Expensive Strikers

The 2011 January transfer saw a record £225 million being spent in the Premier League in a single month. Normally, the January transfer window is viewed as a quiet window, due to clubs being unwilling sanction big moves. But January 2011 proved to be contrary to that line of thought.

There were five fantastic strikers who were brought in January. Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll, Edin Dzeko, Luis Suarez and Darren Bent. Each of these five strikers cost their new clubs more than £20million.

Furthermore, the five strikers have a combined value of £152.8million. You would have to say, it’s a very expensive 5 aside team!

The massive sums being splashed on these players quite obviously mean that all five players are massive signings. Their new fans and clubs should quite rightly expect big things from these centre forwards.

But how have they fared in their first 5 months of their new job?

Here are the stats for the fantastic five.


Transfer Fee

Total Appearances

Total Goals

PL (Premier League )apps

PL goals

PL assists

PL shots per game

Goals per game ratio

Fernando Torres









Edin Dzeko

£27 mill








Darren Bent

£18 mill potential £24mill








Andy Carroll









Luis Suarez
















To many observers of the game, these stats aren’t inspiring, especially when you consider the huge sums spent on these players.

It’s evident, Darren Bent has scored the most goals, by far. Nine goals in sixteen games is a pretty impressive record. He clearly has settled in at Aston Villa very smoothly and his goal record already proves this.

Some argue, Bent’s Villa goal scoring record is something which should be expected. Seeing as he has consistently proved he can score in the Premier League. However rather ironically, the most expensive Premier League player, Fernando Torres has only scored once for Chelsea. This is a horrifying statistic. The principle that Torres was signed for £50 million and has only conjured one goal in 5 months is incredibly alarming.

Edin Dzeko’s goal return has been satisfying. Six goals in twenty-one games isn’t terrible. But, his form in the Premier League paints a distressing picture. In 15 appearances, Dzeko has managed just two goals.

For a man who has cost Man City £27 million, one would expect a few more goals. Especially, since the player has an impeccable goal scoring record. Prior to his move to City, the Bosnian scored 10 league goals for Wolfsburg this season.

However, it’s fair to say Edin Dzeko needs time. After all, this is his first time playing in the Premier League. He is still adapting to the technical and physical demands of the English League.

When considering Dzeko’s appearances, he has played the most games in comparison to any of the other strikers analysed. The reason for this is pretty logical. This is firstly because the Bosnian striker joined Man City at the start of January. While the other four strikers were signed towards the end of the month.

Coming back to appearances, Dzeko made 15 Premier League appearances. 8 of those appearances have been from off the bench. Perhaps this shows how Dzeko has failed to settle into Man City so far.

After all, one would expect a 27 million pound centre forward to start most of the games for their new club. Dzeko’s failure in getting starts for Man City could suggest that buying big players in January isn’t a good idea. The player, like in the case of Dzeko could fail to adapt to the environment of the new league. Or perhaps internally, the player could struggle to truly understand the teams strategy or their role in the team. The same hypothesis could be followed when considering the form of Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres.

The player who appeared the least amount of times is Andy Carroll. The £35million man has only appeared 9 times for Liverpool. This is a serious worry for the Liverpool fans. Especially when considering he is the clubs’record signing. The fans quite rightly, want him to contribute heavily on the pitch, rather than spending most of his time on the sidelines. Furthermore, three of the player’s analysed, they have played double the amount that Carroll has for Liverpool. Next season Andy Carroll will have to prove that he is not an injury prone player and he has to justify his massive price tag.

While Andy Carroll’s strike partner, Luis Suarez has the best assist record in comparison to all the strikers analysed. In thirteen appearances, he has set up three goals. This record is reasonably satisfying. After all, this is the player’s first experience in the Premier League. There is no doubt Suarez has settled very quickly into England and Liverpool. His tenacious style has enlightened and energised the kop. This is backed up by Suarez having the most shots per game. On this basis, one could argue, the Uruguayan is perhaps the most threatening striker out of the five analysed.

The 6ft 4 Edin Dzeko has only assisted twice for Man City. The principle, Dzeko’s game is based on the Bosnian’s physicality, one would expect him to assist more. Especially as the player is relatively decent in the air and can creatively pass. The same could also be stated about Andy Carroll. The England international has completely failed to assist for Liverpool. However, this could be because if a player is to regularly assist, he needs to be settled in the starting 11. This is something that both Dzeko and Carroll have failed to achieve.

Along with Edin Dzeko and Andy Carroll, it’s clear the jury is still out for all the five strikers. Of course, Darren Bent and Luis Suarez have had satisfying starts to their new clubs. But more will be expected from all the strikers next season. Each club will demand a consistent goal flow from each striker, especially since the clubs have dug deep to sign them.

The statistics for the five strikers do not light up the screen. But a complete pre-season with their respected clubs will further enhance their bodies and mind for the demands of the Premier League. One should expect all the strikers performances to further improve and for the player to look far more settled.

There is one certainty which lies ahead of the new season, the levels of expectations will dramatically rise next season. All the strikers will have to perform and contribute consistently next season. The excuse of ‘settling into the team’ will no longer be accepted. All five strikers will have to prove their moneys worth.

A mere 22 goals from men who have a combined value of £152.8 million is hardly justifiable. But, the statistics could be proof that signing big players in January isn’t a good idea. As it gives no time for the players to develop an intuition of their new teams theories and strategies. This then leads to the players such as Torres, Dzeko and Carroll to initially fail to live up to expectations placed on them.

Indeed, all five men will have to truly justify their value next season.

Things you may like to read

Why the signing of Andy Carroll is a fatal error for Liverpool

Edin Dzeko – How will he fit into Manchester City’s catalogue of players

How will Chelsea shape up, now Fernando Torres has arrived

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