The January transfer window is nearly upon us and Cardiff City are in desperate need of a striker.
A goalscorer is hard to come by. Every team needs one. They also cost a good chunk of money.
The team at View From the Ninian have been putting their thinking caps on and have been scouting across the World (maybe). Here’s our writers’ top picks for strikers in January.
Khouma Babacar – Scott Salter
Sassuolo striker Khouma Babacar could the ideal striking option for Neil Warnock’s Cardiff. At 6ft 3″, the Senegalese international is a big target man with an eye for goal. He’s hit four goals this season in Serie A and could thrive in Warnock’s system.
At just 25, Babacar has plenty of years in him and will be entering his prime. He was close to a £15m move to Crystal Palace last year, with Roy Hodgson eyeing Babacar as an upgrade on Christian Benteke.
It may take a similar offer from Cardiff to pries Babacar away from Sassuolo, who are pushing for European qualification this season, but with Warnock reportedly willing to spend £25m on a striker, it would leave room in the budget to strengthen elsewhere.
Josef Martinez – Ben James
I’ve been banging Neal Maupay’s drum for a number of weeks but frankly, my head has been turned by the MLS MVP Josef Martinez. Fresh off scoring the winner for Atlanta United in the MLS Cup, Martinez has been busy raising eyebrows across the pond.
He’d hardly set the world alight before moving to America but his record across the past two season is disgusting – 50 goals in 54 games in an ever-improving league.
He seems to know where the goal is and with the season just finishing in America, we sign him early enough and his hot streak could continue.
Odion Ighalo – Scott Johnson
As it stands, former Watford striker Odion Ighalo will be plying his trade in the Chinese second division next season. Can’t see it myself. The 29-year-old netted 21 goals in 29 games last season, but it wasn’t enough to save Changchun Yatai from the drop.
The Nigerian cost £20m in 2017, agreeing an impressive £190,000-a-week to pry him away from Watford, where he scored 33 goals in 82 games. This was when Chinese clubs were spending money like there was no tomorrow (here’s looking at you Graziano Pelle and your £360k weekly earnings. He’s actually a free agent now btw. 33 now, I wonder if he would be willing to take a monumental pay cut?!)
Well tomorrow came and most of those players are about to become free agents and return to Europe. Whether that also applies to Ighalo, who has another year left on his deal, remains to be seen, but he was quite vocal that he never wanted to leave in the first place.
The Chinese season has just ended and chances are that he will now start angling for a move. Whether on (a likely heavily subsidised) loan to tide him over or permanently. It’s unlikely that he will get that sort of salary anywhere else because he’s been out of sight and out of mind for so long. In terms of attainable, proven Premier League goalscorers, he may be hard to top.