Preceding Sadio Mané's shock departure for Bayern Munich, Reds recruitment staff kept themselves busy preparing for the possibility of one of their infamous front three departing. Spearheaded by newly promoted Sporting Director, Julian Ward, Liverpool landed on the decision to approach Benfica's star striker Darwin Núñez, who reaped havoc when the two teams met in the UEFA Champions League earlier this year. The Uruguayan's outstanding 26-goal haul in the Primeira Liga caught the attention of clubs around Europe, putting his price tag up all the way to €80 million. Liverpool remained favourites to sign the Benfica man throughout the early days of the window, even despite competition from Newcastle and United; and Jurgen Klopp has already expressed his delight in the securement of Núñez's signature.
An encouraging season for Palace fans ended in a 12th place finish, with more work to be done in Patrick Vieira's progression with the team from the days of Roy Hodgson. When the season began, Palace had a host of new faces bringing much in the way of fan fare, from Michael Olise to Odsonne Edouard. Both had their moments in the limelight and achieved acclaim for their performances. But one man who went quietly under the radar in his second season with the Eagles was Jean-Philippe Mateta, who became an important starter for the team toward the second half of the campaign.
Although Teemu Pukki has succumbed to relegation for the second time with Norwich City, he remains one of the most fascinating and complete centre-forwards on the planet. Full of exceptional movement, intelligent pressing, and a natural eye for goal, Pukki scored 11 times in both of his two Premier League campaigns for the worst team in the league. Now at the age of 32, Teemu Pukki is unlikely to return to the Premier League. That said, his price tag according to Transfermarkt sits at just €5 million, which would be an absolute steal for a player who's hit double figures in both of his Premier League seasons. With that, we discuss and analyze the remarkabilities of Teemu Pukki, and the potential suitors for the Finnish forward if he were to seek pastures new this summer.
Seemingly in need of striker that could provide something different until the end of the season, Alvarez seemed like a logical fit. He would allow the Citizens the ability to change the complexions of a match in novel ways, offering a pace and power in behind that contrasts City's current false nine, strikerless system. The small fee for a man so clearly potent in front of goal continues to be seen as an absolute bargain, and a move that should benefit City in the long-run. Or, so it seemed.
In one of those weird, everybody knows it's going to happen inevitable football transfers, Erling Haaland has finally been granted his £64 million move to Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund. Pep Guardiola's team already secured the services of Julian Alvarez back in January, with the Argentine set to join the club in the summer. But nevertheless, Haaland adds a new dimension to Manchester City, and provides something they would otherwise lack without him in a strikerless system. Here is why Erling Haaland is perfect for Manchester City.
At the beginning of January, I, alongside many members of the footballing community, began to mentally prepare for Liverpool's life without Sadio Mane. In 'Finding the next Sadio Mane – Tactical Analysis', I selected Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku as the perfect man to replace the Liverpool legend, amidst a crowd of Luis Diaz, Emmanuel Dennis and Rafael … Continue reading Why Sadio Mane’s killer instinct makes him a perfect striker
The Portuguese forward has scored 5 headed goals at Liverpool this season, and 5 for Portugal in World Cup Qualification. Very few forwards on the planet can claim a better record this season, raising the question - how does a 5'10 false-nine-left-wing hybrid score so many headed goals?
Toward the end of the January transfer window, Juventus swept in with a big money move for Dusan Vlahovic, finally securing themselves a Cristiano Ronaldo replacement. The big Serb has made a name for himself in Serie A with his stunning run of goal-scoring form, bagging 38 goals in 58 matches for Fiorentina across the past two seasons. But Vlahovic doesn't just offer a team goals, and that is precisely why Juventus worked so hard to secure his signature at the end of January, for a hefty €82 million fee. Here is why Dusan Vlahovic is perfect for The Old Lady, and an adequate replacement for one of the game's all time greats.
Anyone who's read our work over the past few years knows that we have always been high on City's desire to play without an out-and-out striker. But there's no denying that a natural centre forward would be a massive help to City's quest to continuously evolve their tactics and find ways to break low-block opposition teams down, when nothing seems to be going their way. So with that, here is why the young Julian Alvarez is the perfect fit for Manchester City.
Without Chris Wood, Burnley seemed destined for relegation in 2021-22. Sean Dyche has done brilliantly to keep the Clarets in England's top flight for nearly a decade now, but this season has not gone as planned, and COVID interruptions have caused them to play the fewest amount of games so far. They sit bottom of the table as a result, and before today, had no genuine goal scoring threat in the team. But all of that has now changed in the blink of an eye, with a stunning surprise signing of Wout Weghorst from VFL Wolfsburg and Louis Van Gaal's Netherlands. In this tactical analysis, we break down why the Dutch forward is the perfect fit for Burnley, and why Weghorst swapped the Bundesliga giants for the Premier League minnows.
Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, the poster boys of a modern day football front three and all that can be accomplished, are all out of contract at the end of the 2022-23 season. The electric trio defined Liverpool's success in the late 2010s, including a Premier League and UEFA Champions League triumph, and a runners-up medal in both competitions. But now approaching or already hitting 30 years old, Liverpool need to start to prepare for life without their illustrious front three. So with that, in this tactical transfer series, we attempt to identify the next Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. We're looking for players not only capable of leading the Reds to more title triumphs, but players young enough to do so over the next five years. Today, we start with finding the next Roberto Firmino.