First FanPost here, so bare with me while I try to provide a concise and productive post to adhere to these strict regulations of CFC entertainment.
Moving on then. What a crap week. From the Benteke ordeal to the other ridiculous Twitter ITK regarding AVB, The Gareth Bale Show, and even people letting one slip at work, I thought it would be refreshing if I gave everyone some reassurance on our little predicament. There are plenty of possibilities out there, and it only takes a cheap punt on one of these players to discover the next Jackson Martinez.
This list will be as far away from the glamor-strikers as possible. I'm pulling these forwards out of the obscurities of the vast amount of leagues in this world, so what usually will catch my eye is statistics, height (for our system), and style of play (if there's any way to establish this). Forgive me if any of these guys have been examined before.
Let's begin then.
1. Luciano Vietto - Hate the fact that we lost out on David Villa? Would you want a younger version spliced with Messi? At 19, Luciano Vietto is probably your best bet. This kid, is just...WOW. 13 goals in 34 league appearances doesn't scream amazing, but that shouldn't deter. Forget his natural ability to be in the right place at the right time. His close control, finishing, and long range blasters are just breathtaking. He tends to glide past defenders like air, and he has extreme confidence on the ball. Luciano also has a handful of headers, so his versatility in attack makes him complete. Luciano is definitely one for the future, but there's no doubt he would add something immediately to the squad. To top that, he has 2 goals in 4 appearances for the Argentina U-20s.
2. Andrej Kramarić - Probably not the most promising person on the list, but definitely worth a shout. Just turning 22 in June, on-loan Andrej recently led Lokomotiva to a 2nd place finish in the 2012-13 Croatian Prva HNL with 15 goals and 9 assists in 32 league appearances. Over his entire career so far, he has posted 30 goals and 15 assists over 85 appearances. That doesn't sound great, but it sounds much better when 32 of those appearances came off the bench. If I could compare him to any player, he would be in the mould of a Mandžukić type (and not because they are both Croatian). His innate ability to get the ball hitting the back of the net can't be disputed, and I won't be surprised if he excels this coming season at Dinamo. Also has played and scored in every Croatian International youth setup, from u-16s to u-21s
3. Jürgen Locadia - Another young prospect, this time coming from the Dutch Eredivisie. Locadia broke out onto the scene this past season, providing a total 6 goals and 4 assists over 15 appearances total (11 coming off the bench). Not bad, and it's easy to see why. This kid cannot stop scoring, including 4 goals in 4 KVB Cup appearances. His 6'3" frame makes him ideal to lead a line, although he was not necessarily played in that role over the season. Locadia is also very athletic, and his ability to read and play off of the back line makes him extremely versatile. Did I mention he's only 19? BOOM. Watch him play, then judge for yourself. PSV did very well this season with a relatively young team. My guess is that he would slot in pretty well for us. Also has done extremely well for the Dutch International youth setups, currently with 1 goal in 2 appearances for the u-21s. Remember...as a 19 year old.
4. Jefferson Duque - WILDCARD! Damn right, I'm talking about a 26 year old Colombian who you probably have never heard of. Well, I actually never heard of him until I did some poking around in the Colombian league. Duque actually has spent most of his career destroying the second division of the Colombian League. It wasn't until a year ago that he got his chance in the first division with Atletico Nacional. His scoring record with second division Deportivo Rionegro saw him score 50 goals in 76 appearances, and, despite ACL injury, has scored 14 goals in 20 appearances for Atletico Nacional so far. Duque reportedly was all set to join Bayer Leverkusen, but a Visa issue prevented the transfer. The interest from the German club probably started when he decided to score a hat trick on his return from injury. He is a bit lanky for 6 foot frame, but he has extremely good pace and a quality finish. His track record says he can score, and he has pretty good vision to add with that. He can pick out a pass, hold up the ball well, and is proficient at retaining possession. A definite risk, but you gotta buy a ticket to win the raffle.
5. Michy Batshuayi - Ok, last one, and obviously my favorite. This time, we're off to the Belgian league, where 19 year old Michy has done pretty damn well for Standard de Liège. 7 goals and 4 assists in 22 competitions for the 2012-13 season isn't amazing by any means. In fact, it's just about average. But Michy brings to the table everything that we desire in a striker. Hold-up ability, physical, confidence on the ball, an eye for goal; these are the main attributes that Michy possess, and it just so happens that we need a striker with these abilities. What really caught my eye were his 3 goals in 6 u-21 appearances for Belgium. As a 19 year old with plenty of talent in the Belgium setup, I thought that was beyond impressive. To really see how awesome this kid is, you really just need to watch him play. I am most impressed by his ability to bring his team into the attacking 3rd, and at his age, that kind of tactical awareness is rare. Obviously one for the future, and I think it is important that he develop in the right environment to continue his rise to the top.
I suggest to keep an eye on these players. Any of them would be a punt, but all of them have potential to succeed. Not likely we'll see any of them in the famous shirt, but I'm bored and tired of #batcountry. This list should give the naysayers a hint that amazingly, there are strikers out there who can score goals...and who won't cost PSG money.