Erling Haaland transferred to Manchester City. Liverpool picked up Darwin Nunez. Robert Lewandowski could be on the move. Romelu Lukaku could do the same. That is without mentioning Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling or Sadi Mane. The greats and good of world football this summer seem to have one thing in mind: signing strikers.
English elite clubs made rapid progress in this regard. The signing of Hollande, the outgoing goal scorer of Borussia Dortmund, who is considered the future winner of the Golden Ball, was a done deal for weeks. The official announcement finally took place on June 13.
Liverpool’s capture of Darwin Nunez was even more ruthless. Linked to the move to Manchester United’s bitter rival in the weeks since the end of the Premier League season, Jurgen Klopp’s team has taken on the Benfica striker and confirmed the deal just a day after City’s announcement of Hollande.
The nonsensical approach at Merseyside has left Old Trafford employees in the dust, which the more clinically acting team has undermined on its tripod in its decision-making. This development really creates a ripple effect, but United still seems to need reinforcements ahead. While the trail of Ajax winger Antony seems to have grown cold, Carrington news suggests the Red Devils are willing to see Anthony Martial leave with the aim of replacing him using sales revenue.
City, perhaps aware of a bunch of posh but disgruntled strikers, also seems ready to let the big names leave the club. Raheem Sterling had one year left until his contract, and he was reportedly sounded by Chelsea. The England international was a good servant at the Etihad, scoring 131 goals in 339 games. It is also versatile, capable of operating anywhere across the front line. But with Haaland and 22-year-old acquisition Julian Alvarez joining this summer, Sterling must realize that game time will come first.
Sterling is wanted at Stamford Bridge, especially as Thomas Tuchel’s team will lose Romelu Lukaku this summer. The Belgian returned to the club for a big fee of 97.5 million pounds, but he did not bring with him the rejuvenated form he showed in Serie A. Lukaku will now look like he will join the center-forward cyclone this summer and will soon return on loan to Inter Milan. This means that Chelsea is joining a number of domestic and European rivals this summer in search of a striker.
It looks like City will also lose Gabriel Jesus, and the Brazilian is planning to move to Arsenal. A four-time Premier League winner at just 25, Mikel Arteta sees Jesus as the perfect replacement for the outgoing Alexandre Lacazette. Tottenham reportedly want to steal the contract late, but Arsenal remains the most likely destination, given the fact that Jesus would automatically be chosen at the Emirates Stadium. Meanwhile, the Spurs will have to compete with Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son. The presence of the two is the main reason why the Spurs do not join their colleagues from the ‘big six’ in their wholehearted pursuit of the striker.
This summer, the widespread case of attacking fever is not limited to the Premier League. Barcelona, the richest poor team in the world, is again on the heels of reinforcements. Dissatisfied with the fact that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres signed in some way last season, despite calling for poverty, they are now in the race for Bayern Munich by bully Robert Lewandowski. The German champions are already preparing for the departure of their mascot, because they are closer to finishing the work for Liverpool’s Sadi Mane. Wherever you turn, the talent that attacks big names seems to be moving to new pastures.
A potential downside to this situation is the fact that it has historically proved to be the most difficult to correct the signatures of the center forward. Almost every team mentioned here has recently stumbled right into this area. United have done the same craziness as Chelsea with Lukaku in one phase, and the two sides also have a disappointing shared history with Radamel Falcao. Barcelona have worked with players like Martin Braithwaite in previous seasons, while even Liverpool have had goals like Danny Ings in a recent addition. The market of top strikers is competitive, and even when it is signed, there is no guarantee that they will score goals at the same speed as in their former club.
With United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona still busy, the strikers’ summer is far from over. Haaland and Nunez seem to have opened the door to a transition period full of attacking stars moving between Europe’s biggest clubs. How successful any of these moves will be remains to be seen. But for now, firepower is a must-have fashion this season.
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