With the Barclays Premier League now in full swing, the initial hysterics seemed to have calmed down a bit. Most clubs have found their preferred line ups, with the front lines more of less established. And with 80 percent of the total transfer money invested in the summer window, being spent on attacking improvements, goals have come in a flurry since the start of this premier league campaign. The scouts have been up to their task, with new names in the front shining early.
Let’s look at the top 5 strikers of the 2014-15 Premier league season till now:
5) Diafra Sakho: Coming into a side which didn’t seem to know how to score in the previous campaign, the 24 year Senegalese striker has been amongst the 5 new names, called upon at West Ham United by Big Sam to be a nuisance for the opposition defense. Signed at a paltry 4.5 million, the hitman from Ligue 2 didn’t get the best of welcomes from the Hammer faithful, mostly because of Sakho’s relatively unknown credentials. However, 12 matches hence, the striker is more of a household name for the fans, having scored 6 goals and 3 assists in all competitions. The powerful hitman has been excellent in his reading of the game, displaying great positional sense and finishing skills, much to the delight of his manager. Having relished the big games, Sakho was on a hot streak of 5 goals in 5 consecutive games, before picking up an injury. With the busy winter schedules coming up, coach Sam Allerdyce will be hoping his red hot new signing doesn’t burn out.
4) Seido Berahino: West Bromwich Albion have long been the under performers of the Premier League. This season too, coach Alan Irvine and his men have found it tough to get their season moving. Yet, on the striking front, new English starlet, Seido Berahino seems to have struck a right chord this season. Proving to be an integral part of the English U21 setup, the Englishman has notched up 7 goals in the Premier league thus far, leading to interests from big clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United. Lack of quality support in the team hasn’t deterred the young striker, known for being a speed merchant, continuously outfoxing the premier leagues leggy defenses this season. However, Berahino’s off field antics have caused his head coach some headache off late, and its paramount that the 21 year old keeps his head in the right place, if his career is to flourish.
3) Graziano Pelle: When Southampton FC endured more of a mass exodus following the departure of former coach Mouricio Pocchetino this summer, few could bet on new Dutch manager, Ronald Koeman to arrest the slide and build up a team worthy of the Premier League. Yet, a 28 year old Italian striker was brought into the side at a reported 8 million fee, and 12 games into the season, Southampton FC lie 2nd in the Premier League! It’s been a fairy tale ride for the new boss, with Pelle at the focal point of his side’s attacking prowess. Possessing great strength and aerial ability, good off the ball qualities and having been scoring at a rate of 0.88 goals per game in his last two seasons, Koeman seems to have hit a jackpot with the capture of this talismanic striker. The Italian’s ability to hold up the ball in addition to his composure, allows him to perfectly fit into the needs of the premier league. In fact, the 28 year old has been pushing for an Italian national team spot in place of the largely lackluster Mario Balotelli, ever since. Playing in the lesser known Dutch league may have restricted Pelle’s growth and publicity, but it has proved to be a blessing for the new coach and his team, with the 8 million hitman having scored 9 goals and assisted 4 more, during his brief stint in England. There’s no doubt, the saints will be hoping the striker’s run of hot form continues.
2) Diego Costa: Another new name in this Premier League season, and yet another star performer. Even though, Diego Costa has been worth around 25 million more than our previous name, he has been worth every penny so far. Known to be amongst the top strikers in Europe in the recent times, little could anyone doubt the Jose Mourinho has got it wrong with the controversial striker from Spain. And the verdict so far? He has got it right and how! Possessing great strength, agility and off the ball skills, the former Athletico Madrid man seems to have got all his acts right to be Jose’s ideal poacher up front. Scoring at an unbelievable 1.22 goals per game, Costa has been the menace to the opposition defenses, Chelsea so desperately needed. Jose will be pleased; the Spanish change up front (read torres out, costa in) has seriously catapulted the London club from being title challengers, to clear favorites with just one quarter of the season over. No wonder, comparisons have started between the Spanish international and club legend, Didier Drogba.
1) Sergio Aguero: Topping the charts though, is a familiar face of the Premier League, the 27 year old from Manchester City, Sergio Aguero. With the financial fair play rules set into motion, Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has not been able to strengthen the squad as much as he had liked to, but that is all yesterday now. Injuries to David Silva, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko coupled with a surprisingly off-color Yaya Toure, meant Manchester City haven’t been able to recreate the form of last year. Despite the travails, Sergio Aguero has taken up prime responsibility so far, to keep his side in the hunt for the title, with 11 goals and 4 assists to his name, thus far. After an un-enterprising World Cup display, the argentine hasn’t placed a foot wrong in the new campaign, single handedly winning matches in the premier league with his high work rate and blinding techniques. Despite being tied with Diego Costa on the stats, we give the diminutive hit man, top spot, for the lack of support he has had from his midfield in recent times, and still been able to chip in with vital goals. The latest feather in the cap? A hat trick in the UEFA Champions League against the Mighty German side, Bayern Munich.