Young Strikers: Who should Spurs be chasing?

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Great stuff, happy to front -The staff

There’s been a lot of talk this summer about which strikers Tottenham should go after in the transfer market. Many fans would like to see Daniel Levy make a run at Christian Benteke, while others would prefer Gonzalo Higuain, or even Roberto Soldado. Regardless of which senior striking target they endorse, it seems like almost all Spurs supporters believe that a young prospect should be brought in alongside him. There’s been a lot less talk as to who, specifically, would be the best target as to fill the role of striker prospect. That’s where I come in. Intrepid reporter that I am, I’ve scoured the depths of the internet to provide you all with this most Bleacher Report-y of lists (alas, no slideshow) of talented, unproven kids who could make Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini look very smart five years from now.

Aleksandar Mitrovic – Standing 6”3’, an 18 year-old Mitrovic was named the third best player in the Serbian SuperLiga and recently made an appearance for the Serbian national team after scoring 15 goals in 36 matches across all competitions for Partizan Belgrade last season. Heavily linked with a move to Arsenal earlier in the window, Mitrovic would likely cost in the range of 6 to 8 million pounds.

Youtube scouting report - Mitrovic is a physically dominant player with the requisite size and strength to play the lone striker role in the modern game. Not the quickest player, Mitrovic has a good touch on the ball and does well to bring his teammates into the game

Imoh Ezekiel – At just 19 years old, Nigerian striker Ezekiel had a breakout season with Standard Liege, scoring 14 goals in 24 league appearances, with an impressive average of a goal scored for every 113 minutes he was on the pitch. Ezekiel recently signed a contract with Standard that featured a salary increase, meaning that he probably isn’t leaving this summer. An offer from 5 to 8 million pounds might have otherwise done the trick.

Youtube scouting report - Ezekiel is a bit of a shoot-on-sight type, but he’s able to score goals in a number of different ways due to his pace and all-around athleticism. Despite standing just 5’10”, Ezekiel scored 4 league goals with his head, thanks in large part to his impressive leaping ability.

Michy Batshuayi – Batshuayi is less heralded than his Standard Liege teammate mostly due to the fact that his goalscoring record isn’t quite as impressive. In 22 Jupiler Pro League appearances, Batshuayi scored 7 times (in addition to 4 assists), at a rate of one goal for every 204 minutes he played. With 4 more goals in something called the “Jupiler Pro League PlayOff 1” and another in the Belgian cup, Batshuayi scored 12 across all competitions last season. Swansea had a 3 million Euro bid for the player rejected earlier in the window, meaning that it would probably cost around 4 million pounds to bring him to Spurs, although the latest rumors suggest he may want to renew his deal with Standard.

Youtube scouting report – Batshuayi is like Ezekiel in that uses his superior athleticism to play bigger than his height (he’s 5’11”), but Batshuayi is arguably the more complete player of the two despite his less impressive scoring tallies. He’s a good dribbler who regularly drifts into wide areas, and he provides for his teammates with good creativity and hold-up play.

Joel Pohjanpalo – Spurs have actually been linked with Pohjanpalo in the past few days, with Liverpool seemingly interested as well. The 18 year-old scored 19 goals across 42 matches in all competitions last season for Finnish champions HJK Helsinki, and rumors suggest that Levy and Baldini are ready to make an offer of 1 million pounds for the 6’0” striker, but it would probably take two or three times that amount to bring him to Spurs.

Youtube scouting report – Every highlight video of Pohjanpalo that I can find consists mostly of right-footed shots drilled into the bottom corner of goal, with a few headed goals added for good measure.

Matej Vydra – Vydra’s transfer value has skyrocketed after being named Championship player of the year and nearly leading Watford to promotion at the age of 20. With an average of a goal in every 128 minutes that he was on the pitch, Vydra added 2 more goals in the Championship playoffs against strong opposition. After a great season in England, Udinese is probably going to want more than 12 million pounds for the player, but the Pozzo family isn’t known for haggling too much over transfer fees, with a preference to get moves done as quickly as possible.

Actual scouting report – Vydra’s game is all about using his electric pace to get behind defenders. Vydra isn’t exactly a poacher; I’d say his playing style is comparable to that of a young Fernando Torres (which isn’t at all the same thing as saying he’s as good as a 21 year-old Nando).

John Guidetti – On the outside looking in at Manchester City, John Guidetti suffered through an injury-plagued season in 2012-2013, but he isn’t hurting for talent. As a 19 year-old the season before, Guidetti starred for Feyenoord, posting totals of 8 assists and 20 goals in 23 league matches, with a particularly impressive average of a goal scored for every 91 minutes he played. 7 of his 20 goals were penalties, however, making the total look slightly less impressive in hindsight. Guidetti renewed his contract with City last October, but with new strikers seemingly on their way to the Etihad, he might be willing to leave for a chance at playing time, and he was linked with Sunderland for a fee between 5 and 6 million pounds earlier in the window.

Youtube scouting report – Guidetti is a pretty complete player, possessing the requisite size (he’s 6’1”) and athleticism to play as a lone striker or as a member of a striking duo. His dribbling and touch on the ball are particularly impressive.

Luc Castaignos – Despite being around forever, Luc Castaignos is still only 20 years old. After scoring 15 goals for Feyenoord, Castaignos was snapped up by Inter Milan for the bargain basement price of 3 million euros. After a year on the bench, Inter sold him to Twente, where he scored 13 league goals last season, finding the back of the net an average of once every 187 minutes. None of his 13 Eredivisie goals were penalties, making his strike rate look slightly more impressive. Twente paid 6 million euros for Castaignos just last summer, but he’s stated that he wants to play for a “big club” with Spurs being linked last summer. It would probably take between 6 and 8 million pounds to bring him in.

Youtube scouting report – Castaignos is another tall (he’s 6’2”), athletic player who is perfectly suited to play as a lone striker in the modern game. With good pace, finishing ability, and hold-up play, Castaignos ticks almost all of the boxes.

Ante Rebic – 19 year-old Ante Rebic is coming off a season in which he scored 10 goals in 29 league appearances for RNK Split, averaging a goal for every 219 minutes he saw the field. After Spurs were linked with a move of around 5 million euros for the player earlier in the window, AVB claimed to have no idea who he was.

Here's a Scouting Report from Aslan the Melon

Stipe Perica – Perica turned 18 less than two weeks ago, and as the youngest player on this list, he has the shortest track record as a professional. Still, he managed to score 8 goals in 20 matches for Croatian 9th place finishers NK Zadar last season, for an impressive mark of one goal for every 167 minutes he played in the league. He looks to be on his way out at Zadar, and he says he’d like to play abroad. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that a bid of 2 or 3 million pounds would be enough to secure his services from Zadar.

Youtube scouting report - Perica is variously listed at 6’1” and 6’3” across the web, but it looks like he might be closer to 6’5” in highlight videos. He’s extremely lanky and still growing into his body, but he appears to be reasonably athletic. He doesn’t seem to have much of a left foot, but he’s probably young enough to improve in that part of his game.

Alvaro Morata – Alvaro Morata has been lighting it up for Real Madrid’s B team for years now, and he excelled last season when given opportunities to play for the first team. Of course, this is Real Madrid we’re talking about, a team that sold Juan Mata and Roberto Soldado to make flashier signings. Morata was heavily linked with Liverpool earlier in the window, and the latest rumors suggest that he might be on his way to Getafe, despite claims that he’d like to stay with Real. The 20 year-old scored 12 goals in 18 appearances for Real Madrid Castilla and added 2 more for the senior team. He’d probably cost around 12 million pounds to bring in if Real is actually open to the idea of moving him.

Youtube scouting report – Morata is pretty much the complete package, as he possesses the ability to score goals in almost every way. He’s pretty tall, at 6’3”, but he’s also great at getting his teammates involved and might even have the pace and dribbling ability to play out wide.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga – Lasogga missed almost all of the past season with a torn ACL, but he scored 8 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances the year before for Hertha Berlin, despite not turning 20 until the halfway point of the campaign. Hertha recently regained promotion to the top division after a single year in the 2. Bundesliga, so they might want to keep a promising young asset like Lasogga, but an offer of 5 million pounds could tempt them into selling the player.

Youtube scouting report – The 6’2” Lasogga’s game seems to be predicated mainly on making clever runs in and around the penalty box, where he looks like a good finisher from close range.

Which of these players would you like to see Levy and company bring in? Are there any other players that you would add to this list? I'd love to hear your opinions in the comment section

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