Every new season in the EPL a new striker seems to come out of the woodwork and set the league alight with goals.
Last season it was Aston Villa’s Belgian sensation Christian Benteke and Swansea’s Michu who grabbed headlines and found themselves among the league’s deadliest strikers at the top of the scoring charts.
Each year new strikers shock us with their amazing noses for the goal and leave us wondering “where did they come from?!” Some of these strikers are one-hit wonders and turn out to be fantastic teases, *cough* Andy Carroll *cough*.
Others go on to have amazing careers. This year promises to be no different as many new forwards have arrived and are raring to get this new season under way. To spare you the shock of seeing another new cold-blooded striker take the EPL by storm, here is a list of five potential breakout candidates for this coming EPL season.
1. Wilfried Bony: Swansea €12 million Euro signing from Vitesse
Nine years ago there was another Ivory Coast international arriving in the EPL with a ton of goals to his name but just as many questions asked about his resume. That man, Didier Drogba, turned out to do “okay” for himself, so if Wilfried Bony can capture anything close to his fellow country man’s form during his time in the league he will do okay as well.
The 24-year-old enters the league with great stats to back him up. Last year, he netted an amazing 31 goals in 30 games for Vitesse, being named Dutch Player of the Year as a result. However, playing in the Dutch league does throw up some red flags for many, with the horrific performances of Middleborough’s record signing Afonso Alves a few years back still being laughed at today.
Swansea’s record signing though might just help break that stereotype.
He arrives in a side that has been tailored to fit him perfectly. He slides in as the main striker as Michu drops back more naturally to a place right behind the target man. Bony is a great target man as he boasts good size, a quick first step, and strength in the air.
Liberty Stadium might just get another great bargain two years in a row as Bony gets ready to try and add to the 46 goals he has in the last two seasons.
2. Roberto Soldado : Tottenham €26 million Euro signing from Valencia
Soldado finds himself in a perfect situation at White Hart Lane. As Spurs most expensive signing in history, the team will be built around the Spanish international and he will be given every opportunity to exceed.
The 28-year-old will be one of the only experienced strikers on the roster, with Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermaine Defoe on their way out of the club. He will be surrounded by a solid support group with Lennon, Dembele, Holtby, and new signing Paulinho more than likely running the midfield this season (assuming of course that Gareth Bale will be off to sunny Madrid).
He has had a solid career so far, scoring 165 goals over his club career and 59 in total for Valencia. His 30 goals in 40 games last year really brought attention to himself, making him a hot priority on the transfer market.
Soldado is a classic poacher, someone who really does have a nose for goal and the tendency to place himself in the right place at the right time.
At times, he goes unnoticed and fades out of the game but will almost always pop up at the right moment and find the back of the net. At 28, he is in his prime, making it necessary that he scores a good amount in the next couple seasons to keep himself from being labeled a bust.
Doing that with the pressure of being the go to man and a record signing is another matter though.
3. Stevan Jovetic : Manchester City €22 million Euro signing from Fiorentina
Manchester City saw success with four strikers two years ago as they took the Premier League title. This year they will attempt to go back to that theory as they go with another four talented strikers to challenge for league supremacy.
One of those strikers will be 23-year-old Montenegrin international Stevan Jovetic.
The promising striker has been brought in after scoring 40 goals in his time at Fiorentina, netting 13 in his last season. Despite having to battle with three great strikers for playing time, Jo Jo will almost certainly get on the pitch for the simple fact that he is more “special” than his striking counterparts.
Sergio Aguero will certainly stay the go-to striker but Jovetic might just be the perfect partner for him. His great touch and willingness to pass makes him every forwards favorite dream teammate.
His ability to play behind the strikers is another reason for more playing time.
He has always been a player with flair and one of the most promising players in the game. Despite a lack luster year in terms of scoring last term, the Montenegrin might just explode in the Premier League as he takes the field with more World Class players than he has ever been with before.
4. Ricky Van Wolfswinkel: Norwich €8.5 million Euro signing from Sporting Lisbon
Two years ago, Van Wolfswinkel was getting sniffs from Chelsea and Manchester United. This year it was the scent of Carrow Road that brought about the signature of the 24 year old Dutchman.
Norwich might not be the town that the striker dreamed of playing for while he was over in Portugal but it might just be the place where he introduces himself to the soccer world. Norwich’s new record signing has the tendency to be prolific, scoring 62 club goals in his short career so far.
RVW plundered 15 goals last term for Sporting, making it 45 in all competitions for his two years at the Portuguese outfit. He is the kind of player who settles in well at clubs, all ready announcing his love for the town of Norwich.
He is cool under pressure and hot in front of goal, a lethal combination.
For a player nicknamed HatRicky, for the amount of hat tricks he accumulated in a season, this year might just be his breakout season.
5. Andreas Cornelius: Cardiff City €8 million signing from FC Copenhagen
Cardiff have wheeled and dealed this summer seemingly under the radar. The signing of Cornelius went down quietly despite breaking the club record transfer fee (broken again by the signing of Steven Caulker this week).
The 20-year-old Danish international has bags of potential, being touted as the next Peter Crouch. Standing at 6’4, there is no question why he is being compared to the human tree that is Crouch. His size has made him a serious threat to any defense and should let him get along comfortably in the physical English game.
The young Copenhagen star hit the back of the net 18 times, placing his name on top of the scoring chart of the Danish Superliga. Cardiff boss Malky Mackay has been lauded for the capture of the striker, who has already featured seven times for the Danish national team.
The potential is there for Cornelius to be scoring in the Premier League for a long time. The Danish league might not be the most trust worthy league in terms of noted talent but the risk taken by Cardiff has a huge upside.
Heck, he better be good considering the club spent 68 million! In Danish currency of course.