Following the departure of quirky Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, a huge 31-goal-a-season gap has been left in Liverpool’s attack. With Brendan Rodgers currently scouring the transfer market for world class strikers, I've compiled a list of six forwards who may just prove capable to fill the large goal-scoring boots left empty in the dressing room at Anfield.
Edinson Cavani – Paris Saint Germain
After perhaps playing in the large, looming shadow of Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG last season, Edinson Cavani recently expressed his desire to move to the Premier League, alerting clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. With a large amount of money available funded by the Suarez sale, surely the 27-year-old Suarez compatriot would be the ideal replacement in Brendan Rodgers’ side? After scoring a decent 16 goals in 30 games for his French club last season, Cavani could provide the goal threat that Rodgers is looking for. PSG purchased the striker last summer for £56million, so will be hoping to make a profit from any possible sale of the forward. That might be the stumbling block if there is one.
Antoine Griezmann – Real Sociedad
After an extremely successful season in Spain scoring 16 goals in 35 appearances while creating 34 chances, the Frenchman is hot on the target list of many top European clubs. With a buyout clause of 30 million Euros, the 23-year-old creative midfielder could provide an adroit source of goals and chances for Daniel Sturridge up front, from the wider role that Suarez often played last season. With Chelsea and Spurs also interested, Rodgers will have to move quickly to activate the youngster’s buyout clause.
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
Could Rodgers use the large funds made available through Suarez’s departure to rock the football world with surely one of the biggest shock transfers of all time? The 28-year-old only recently signed a long-term deal with Manchester United, but many see new contracts these days only as a way of increasing a player’s transfer value. Rooney scored 17 goals in 28 games during a rocky season under David Moyes last term and if joined up with England teammate Daniel Sturridge, would surely perform better (unlike in Brazil… but let’s forget about that). Some reports claim that Wayne Rooney may have to give way if new manager Louis Van Gaal succeeds in his attempts to sign the aforementioned Edinson Cavani – could it be time for Rooney to move on? Rodgers may have to turn to the spectacular following the loss of a true spectacle.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – Schalke 04
The 30-year-old 6ft 1in hitman managed 12 goals in 18 appearances last season, which calculates to an average of 0.66 goals per game. After Suarez managed an average of 0.94 goals per game for Liverpool last term, Huntelaar may not be able to fill Suarez’s boots but there may still be growing room in those boots for the Dutchman to thrive in the Premier League despite his age. Huntelaar seems keen to stay at Schalke, but a large bid from Liverpool with the Suarez money could tempt the Germans into selling the striker.
Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund
Despite recent reports claiming the 25-year-old German is set to join Bayern Munich next year, Dortmund may be more willing to sell Reus to a large bid abroad from Anfield rather than to their Bundesliga rivals. The attacking midfielder created three more chances than Suarez last season (90 to 87), also making one more assist (13 to 12) and two more key passes (77 to 75) than the Uruguayan. However, Reus managed just over one goal every two games last term, whereas Suarez managed nearly a goal a game. Overall, Reus, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling behind Daniel Sturridge is a daunting prospect for Premier League defenders if this move is to be pulled off before the transfer window closes next month.
Wilfried Bony – Swansea City
Bony arrived in the Premier League with a monstrous reputation after scoring 46 goals in 65 games for previous Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem, but failed to make an outstanding first impression during the first half of the season with fewer goals in his first few games while adapting to the stark contrast in physicality of the English Premier League compared to his previous club Vitesse’s considerably weaker Dutch Eredivisie. However, Bony established himself as one of the most prolific goal scorers in the league during the second half of the season, netting 16 times in 34 games overall this season in the Premier League for Swansea - the same as both Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud and Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko, whilst also creating 25 chances for his team. This proof complimented by the fact that ten of Bony’s goals came against the eventual top seven teams in the Premier League alerted top clubs such as Arsenal that his services may be available, prompting manager Garry Monk to tell the media it will take an ‘astronomical fee’ to lure the Ivorian talisman away from South Wales. However, what Garry Monk considers an ‘astronomical fee’ is probably available after what Liverpool received for Luis Suarez, and if linked up with Daniel Sturridge this move could work a treat for Brendan Rodgers.
By Tom Clarke - @