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.
A truly iconic forward, not to mention incredibly unique in his career path, personality and play style, Jamie Vardy has been instrumental to Leicester's years of success. Now that Leicester have the finances to spend more than the notorious £1m steal spent on Vardy, there are a vast array of options within the transfer market for the Foxes to make their best attempt at recreating his legacy in the Premier League. So with that, we make strides toward helping Leicester in that complicated cause.
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.
Following its popular use for Vicente del Bosque's Spain at Euro 2012, the role of the false nine has continued to evolve in the modern era of the Premier League, accompanied by a shift in mannerisms, behaviors, and positional patterns of strikers on a football pitch. Pep Guardiola's Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have been two of the dominating forces in world football since the mid-2010s, and both have operated throughout that time without a recognized out-and-out goal-scoring striker. For any possession-based team attempting to emulate Klopp and Guardiola, deploying a false nine presents a unique and innovative way of breaking the opposition down, and reaching new levels of performance. Some tactical experts have suggested that in the future we may see a formation without a striker at all, but truthfully, we may already be there.
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.