The Available Forwards on the 2020 Summer Transfer Market – Ranked
As the rest of the continent takes its first steps in following the example set by their German counterparts, the finish line of this nightmarish campaign inches closer and closer.
With the end (vaguely) in sight, why not follow the well-trodden path of every football fan far and wide by getting ahead of ourselves and turning to the upcoming transfer market.
While the economic impact of the coronavirus is looms large, the endless churn of the transfer market has already begun.
As a myriad of high-profile targets take up residence in the gossip columns, who looks to be the most favourable option in the upcoming window, whenever that may be.
Michy Batshuayi has six goals in just five starts for Chelsea this season
It’s hard to say with any real certainty exactly how good Michy Batshuayi is simply because of his lack of playing time. Prior to the suspension of play Frank Lampard had afforded the Belgian just one Premier League start.
Batshuayi has put in displays at both ends of spectrum across several loan spells but at 26 years of age, the fact that he is yet to find a consistent starting berth anywhere is cause for concern.
Potential Price Tag: £30-40m
Linked Clubs: Crystal Palace, Newcastle, West Ham
Moussa Dembélé moved to Lyon for £19.8m in the summer of 2018
Dembélé’s goal return may look healthy (16 in 27 league games) but, according to his underlying numbers, the former Celtic striker has endured a sizeable dip in form.
Put simply, the French 23-year-old is taking fewer shots from worse locations but has a hot finishing streak to paper over this downturn. Although, the injury to Memphis Depay and departure of Nabil Fekir do explain the lack of top quality chances falling Dembélé’s way
However, if this campaign does turn out to be mere a blip, the forward offers very little outside the penalty area, even at the best of times.
Potential Price Tag: £40-60m
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Manchester United
Odsonne Edouard has scored five goals and laid on two assists in 12 Europa League starts for Celtic
Celtic’s latest unearthed gem – and man who replaced Dembele – may have played his final game in white and green hoops as many members of Europe’s elite menacingly circle the Frenchman who has just a year left on his contract in Glasgow.
The 22-year-old’s dominant displays in the Scottish top flight (22 goals in 27 this season) may not be a guarantee of success but impressive performances across two European campaigns have gone some way to bolstering Edouard’s rising stock.
Potential Price Tag: £30-40m
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Tottenham
In his final season for Borussia Dortmund Ousmane Dembélé made 37 starts, in the past two seasons combined for Barcelona he’s managed 35
Ousmane Dembélé’s £112.5m move to Barcelona makes him the fifth most expensive player in history, but three stop-start seasons plagued by injury and repeated disciplinary issues have drastically dented the winger’s reputation but also reduced the club’s asking price.
When Dembélé does get on the pitch – and string a run of appearances together – he is an exceptional player. Barcelona need to raise funds for other transfer dealings and Dembélé is one of the players deemed surplus to requirements.
Potential Price Tag: £50-80m (or, loan-to-buy option)
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Liverpool, PSG
Luka Jović has made just four La Liga starts for Real Madrid this season
The Serbian forward was one of the hottest properties last summer after 27 goals for Eintracht Frankfurt as Real Madrid won the race for his signature.
Unfortunately for Jović, Zinedine Zidane has placed Karim Benzema firmly ahead of the 22-year-old in the pecking order leading to a worrying lack of playing time. Having invested more than £50m into the forward 12 months ago a loan may be the most realistic option for Jović who would be lethal addition if he can rediscover last year’s form.
Potential Price Tag: £40-50m (or, loan-to-buy option)
Linked Clubs: AC Milan, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham
Victor Osimhen has scored 18 goals across all competitions for Lille this season
Victor Osimhen exploded onto the scene with seven goals in his first nine Ligue 1 games this season.
The rangy 21-year-old has enjoyed a superb debut campaign for Lille with several clubs already making offers. The Nigeria international is thought to be keen on a move to the Premier League but any side who secures his signature will be better off with his energetic presence up front.
Potential Price Tag: £50-70m
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Napoli, Tottenham
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 49 Premier League goals in just 75 appearances
Only Jamie Vardy can point towards more Premier League goals than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this season as Arsenal’s talisman seems set on finding one last payoff.
But the Gabon international often leans on his pace to run in behind and as he turns 31 in June, that speed may not be there much longer. Nevertheless, he offers a near-guarantee of goals and with one year of his deal left, the transfer fee shouldn’t be stratospheric, although his wages may be.
Potential Price Tag: £20-35m
Linked Clubs: Barcelona, Man Utd, Real Madrid
Alongside his contribution from open play, Arkadiusz Milik also offers a threat via free-kicks with three converted efforts from his last ten attempts
After two lengthy knee injuries in two years, the Polish forward has come into his best form this term – admittedly, between minor niggles here and there.
The 26-year-old asked to leave Napoli during the enforced hiatus in search of guaranteed football. Either by partnering another striker – as he does with Robert Lewandowski on international duty – or leading the line himself, Milik would be an excellent addition to most attacking lineups.
Potential Price Tag: £30-40m
Linked Clubs: Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Juventus, Tottenham
Lautaro Martínez scored five Champions League goals in six group stage games this season, including one against Barcelona at the Camp Nou
Inter’s 22-year-old forward has formed a deadly duo with Romelu Lukaku this season but this partnership (wonderfully named ‘LuLa’ by the Italian press) is set to end if his perennial links to Barcelona come to fruition.
The Argentinian may not be the immediate solution to all of Barça’s problems but there is little doubt he represents an exciting prospect for the future. The only question is whether the Catalan club can muster the funds for the transfer.
Potential Price Tag: £70-100m
Linked Clubs: Barcelona
After heavy links to Liverpool, Timo Werner seems destined for Chelsea next season
Julian Nagelsmann may have snapped “I don’t think there is anything inked,” after RB Leipzig dropped points against relegation-threatened Paderborn on the weekend but Timo Werner certainly looks bound for pastures new.
Where the jet-heeled 24-year-old will feature in Frank Lampard’s youthful lineup remains to be seen but his addition has arguably propelled Chelsea into feasible title-contenders next season.
Potential Price Tag: £50-55m
Linked Cubs: Chelsea