Every Premier League club’s backup strikers rated – from worst to best
Breaking into your team’s starting XI is a challenge that every player will face at one point or another in their career no matter how good they are.
It could be said that task is even harder if you are a striker. Playing second fiddle to a in-form forward can be exceptionally frustrating, especially when they are banging in goals and the manager is unwilling to gamble by changing football’s glamour position.
In midweek, Fernando Llorente, in for the injured Harry Kane, came up with the goods, when his bundled effort helped Tottenham progress past Manchester City and into the Champions League semi-final.
Against Porto, Divock Origi started his first Champions League game in three years in place of Roberto Firmino and impressed with his pace and movement.
So who is your club’s back up striker and do they have a chance of getting an extended run in the team?
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20. Huddersfield – Steve Mounie
If you though Fulham had a bad season, the Terriers have been even worse. Bottom of the table, their tally of 14 points is one of the worst in the league’s history and it has not been helped with their lack of goals.
Mounie who started last season so well with a brace on his debut, has only scored twice all season and Karlan Grant has already got three for the club and he signed in January, which sums the problem up.
19. Fulham – Floyd Ayite
It has been a woeful season for Fulham and they have been sent back down to the Championship at the first time of asking. Aleksander Mitrovic was doing well for a period but his 10 Premier League goals have not been enough, while Ryan Babel has been brought in on loan, Ayite has only played 12 times this season, scoring just once and is hardly the man you turn to when the going gets tough.
18. Burnley – Matej Vydra
Prolific in the Championship, Vydra has yet to enjoy quite the same success in the top flight. Failed to find the net during his time with Watford in the Premier League and has scored just once in 11 games for Sean Dyche’s side.
Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood are the main strikers at Turf Moor and Vydra will have to do much more to change that.
17. Newcastle – Joselu
The impact of Salomon Rondon has been huge since he joined on loan from West Brom and has meant Joselu has found himself on the fringes of the first-team under Rafael Benitez.
In his 16 matches he has played this season, 11 have come from the bench and he has only scored twice.
16. Cardiff – Kenneth Zohore
The Dane has scored just once in 16 matches for the Bluebirds and has had to settle for a place on the bench this season behind the likes of Oumar Niasse and Bobby Reid, as the club battle to avoid relegation.
15. Southampton – Charlie Austin
The former QPR man is a natural finisher and some will argue he is a better striker than Shane Long, but it is the latter who has been in the Saints side in recent weeks as their revival continues. Austin has netted only twice and has played 23 times, 12 of those as a substitute.
14. Brighton – Florin Andone
Chris Hughton has rotated with a number of his strikers this season, choosing between Glenn Murray, Jurgen Locadia and Andone, with the latter receiving the least minutes of the forwards.
The Romanian has three Premier League goals this season, but has been unable to help prevent the Seagulls from slumping dangerously close to the relegation zone.
13. AFC Bournemouth – Dominic Solanke
The striker joined the Cherries from Liverpool for £17m in January, hoping to get more first-team action then he had at Anfield. However, he has started just twice in eight appearances and has yet to find the net.
Still only 21, Solanke still has plenty of time to make an impact, but for now he still has some way to go to get ahead of Callum Wilson and Joshua King.
12. West Ham – Lucas Perez
Marko Arnautovic and Chicharito have been preferred up top for the Hammers and Perez has only started eight times scoring twice and has yet to convince he is capable of leading the line in the Premier League.
11. Crystal Palace – Christian Benteke
In his debut season for the club in 2016/17, Benteke scored 17 times. Since then, the former Aston Villa man has netted just three times and is well and truly down the pecking order behind Wilfried Zaha and Michy Batshuayi.
Confidence and a lack of form have played a part in his struggles and it remains to be seen if he will recapture his prowess in front of goal.
10. Everton – Cenk Tosun
Having begun the season as Marco Silva’s first choice striker, the Turkish international has fallen down the pecking order and is unable to gain any consistency as a result.
The improved form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison mean Tosun has barely had a look in. He has only scored eight times since his January 2018 move and has been linked with a move to Fiorentina.
9. Leicester City – Kelechi Iheanacho
Iheanacho has been used mainly to cover for Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki and has scored just four times in the league in two seasons, the same amount he managed in his final campaign with Manchester City.
Once tipped to push on and become a striking sensation, the last couple of years have been majorly disappointing for the talented 22-year-old.
8. Arsenal – Danny Welbeck
Injuries have hampered Welbeck’s time with Arsenal and he is currently working his way back to full fitness following an broken ankle in November. However, had he been fit, it is very likely he would have played a support role to first choice duo Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, who themselves are battling to be the Gunners main striker.
Welbeck has hardly ever been prolific throughout his career and the most Premier League goals the most he has ever scored for Arsenal is five. Has also been linked with a summer move to Rangers.
7. Wolves – Ivan Cavaleiro
The season’s surprise package, few expected Wolves to be eighth in the league and to have been on the verge of the FA Cup final. Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota are the first-choice strikers for Wolves and Cavaleiro has been introduced late on in matches to change the dynamic to good effect, scoring three times.
6. Liverpool – Divock Origi
The Belgian has never been considered a player to start for Liverpool, but he has proved he is capable of making an impact when he comes on or is given a rare chance.
The unenviable task of trying to dislodge Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is what faces Origi, but he did impress in his start against Porto and did net a vital last minute winner in the Merseyside derby against Everton to guarantee his hero status on the red side.
5. Watford – Andre Gray
With Troy Deeney suspended, Gray will likely lead the line for the remainder of the season. He has made 14 appearances as a substitute this season, but has looked sharp when called upon, coming off the bench to score winners against Everton and Leicester, giving him a total of five for campaign.
4. Manchester City – Gabriel Jesus
Pep Guardiola’s side are enjoying another dominating season as they battle it out with Liverpool for the title.
While Jesus has found the target seven times this season, opportunities to start have been harder to come by and he has not managed to consistently stake a place ahead of Sergio Aguero, who is one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goal scorers.
3. Tottenham – Fernando Llorente
Kane has been ruled out twice this season and both times Spurs have looked to Llorente to fill the void.
The Spaniard may not be prolific like the England striker, but he contributes in his own way, allowing those around him to flourish through his ability to link play and hold the ball up.
While he may only have scored once in the league, Llorente was in the right place to send Spurs into the Champions League semi-final for the first time in their history.
2. Chelsea – Olivier Giroud
The Frenchman has shone in the Europa League, but has been used sparingly in the Premier League this season and does not seem to be trusted to start key games by Maurizio Sarri, despite his understanding with Eden Hazard and the ability to give the Blues a different outlet.
Gonzalo Higuain was brought in on loan, but has since failed to convince, scoring only against already-relegated Fulham and Huddersfield.
1. Manchester United – Romelu Lukaku
While he has not be a permanent fixture on the bench, Lukaku has had to rotate with Marcus Rashford often this season, but has still managed a more than respectable 12 goals in 29 appearances. Despite being ridiculed for his first touch and sometimes clumsy style, Lukaku still has an incredible 113 goals in the Premier League at the age of 25.
Source: SportsLatest TS