Calvert-Lewin, Sterling, Toney, Vardy, Watkins?

Here are 5 English forwards currently playing in the EPL that have somewhat proven that they can be regular scorers for their respective teams. They have different profiles and also a different age but here is a little overview:

Calvert-Lewin – an overall young (25), good and tall striker that plays for Everton. Prone to injuries and slightly fragile psychologically, he has rarely disappointed at Everton or England levels. Question mark remains regarding his fitness levels and his ability to take his game to the next level. He is valued at around 50-60 Mln EUR.

Sterling – a diminutive and experienced (despite only being 27) forwards who took his game to the next level at Man City. A threat with his dribbles and his coolness in front of goal, he has dips in a season but he is overall reliable and has a great connection with Arteta. Would he be challenging Martinelli on the left or would he play as a CF? If he played as a CF, wouldn’t that change our whole game plan and team set-up? He would be an expensive acquisition too being valued around 70 Mln EUR.

Toney – the relentless CF from Brentford. After terrorizing defenders last year in the Championship, he has been working hard in the EPL where he has made his mark as well. This strong and tall forward does not shy away from pressing and defending, is good at taking penalties and is quite strong in the air/challenges. There is still quite some room for growth but doesn’t his hunger play in his/our favour? Brentford is doing well but AFC is a bigger and better London club so why not? He is valued at 30-40 Mln. There is still a question mark about his ability to score more in open plays and also to create more for his partners.

Vardy – the man that Wenger wanted nearly 6 years ago. At 35, he is still one of the best forwards in the EPL scoring 10-15 goals per season regularly. Maybe not as relentless as before but always working hard for the team and timing his runs to perfection, Vardy is not a CF that would play with his back to the goal so would he fit our current set-up and if we are going for this type of forward, shouldn’t we look for someone younger in the veins of Sterling and potentially even David or Oshimen or Schick? He is valued at 5 Mln…

Watkins – The 26 yo England International playing at Villa and formally playing for Brentford has scored 21 goals and provided 6 assists since joining the EPL in 2020. A good goal poacher, he did have a great first season last year in the EPL but is somehow finding it harder this season. With Gerrard looking to bring in more forward reinforcements, there may be a chance for him to request a move away from Villa Park. Would he be a good fit for us? He is valued at 40-50 Mln EUR.

So, if you were to take one player from this list and bring him to our club, who would it be and why? I did not mention Maddisson, Bowen, Mount, Barnes, Wilson, Bamford or Ings but feel free to add them to the conversation…



25 Responses to Calvert-Lewin, Sterling, Toney, Vardy, Watkins?

  1. pbarany says:

    While I’m not particularly fond of any player on the list, I understand that an English player holds an advantage. Not just over foreigners like Richarlison, but especially over players outside the Premier League.

    So let me list their goal contribution statistics (from TransferMarkt). While scoring might be more important than assisting for a CF I will not make a difference when calculating their goal contribution efficiency.
    When analyzing the stats below please take into consideration that the quality of the opponent’s defense (thus the difficulty to score) is a lot different in the PL, the Championship, in Europe and the cups.

    Dominic Calvert-Lewin
    21-22: G: 4, A: 1, M: 809 – 1 goal contribution per 202 minutes
    20-21: G:21, A:5, M:3313 – 1 goal contribution per 127 minutes
    19-20: G:19, A:1, M: 2996 – 1 goal contribution per 187 minutes

    Raheem Sterling:
    21-22: G: 14, A: 5, M: 2318 – 1 goal contribution per 122 minutes
    20-21: G:17, A:12, M:3703 – 1 goal contribution per 128 minutes
    19-20: G:31, A:10, M: 3987 – 1 goal contribution per 97 minutes

    Ivan Toney:
    21-22: G: 13, A: 3, M: 2400 – 1 goal contribution per 150 minutes
    20-21: G:33, A:10, M:4352 – 1 goal contribution per 101 minutes
    19-20: G:26, A:7, M: 3309 – 1 goal contribution per 100 minutes

    Jamie Vardy
    21-22: G: 12, A: 2, M: 1681 – 1 goal contribution per 120 minutes
    20-21: G:17, A:9, M:3721 – 1 goal contribution per 143 minutes
    19-20: G:23, A:7, M: 3428 – 1 goal contribution per 114 minutes

    Ollie Watkins:
    21-22: G: 7, A: 1, M: 2256 – 1 goal contribution per 282 minutes
    20-21: G:16, A:5, M:3439 – 1 goal contribution per 164 minutes
    19-20: G:26, A:3, M: 4456 – 1 goal contribution per 154 minutes

  2. RC78 says:

    Meanwhile…tomorrow we will know our national teams will know their WC Groups…

    We could have the following for example…

    England – Germany – Poland – Ghana
    France – Netherlands – Serbia – Canada

  3. RC78 says:

    So from your calculations, it seems that Sterling and Vardy may be front runners from a statistics point of view but we also have to take into account the team they play for…Sterling is playing for Man City, which scores goals for fun and Vardy is the main forward at Leicester who excels at counter-attacking…Given this aspect of the equation and notwithstanding the importance of goal contributions especially in the EPL, would you feel that someone like Toney or Watkins would deserve more credit for their achievements in the EPL?

  4. pbarany says:

    Before giving my first impressions, here are a couple more caveats: direct comparison is unfair, as your scoring efficiency is heavily influenced by your teammates too, meaning it’s not the same if you have De Bruyne trying to find you with passes, or it’s up to Morgan Sanson or Mason Holgate to assist you. Furthermore it’s not symmetrical either if you are the main force of scoring (Leicester, Brentford, Everton) or you have some colleagues on the pitch (!) who are similarly targeted with the final balls (Mahrez, Ings, Phoden, Jesus).

    Nevertheless taking these into light consideration I would disqualify Watkins from the list for his inferior finishing skills based on the statistics (which unfortunately exclude shooting attempts, so could be misleading), and Vardy for his age.
    Toney had good runs in the Championship, but the jury is still out on his PL results. He could be a safe bet though for 15M, but 40M is crazy, as we can buy Nunez, Gouiri or Gakpo for the same price – who all seem younger and already better (in their respective leagues!) than Ivan.
    DCL had some injury issues in the past, but my main argument against him is that his key advantage is his heading skills. And while I would appreciate scoring more goals and winning more games; my preference is against a “crossing from the byline” type of play, which would likely follow if a tall striker is signed.

    So if I had to pick a player from the list, that must be Sterling. Furthermore if it would be a whoever-you-wish-for-English-striker game I would add Phoden to the list, who is nicely transforming into a central forward, but that scenario has no possibility. So it is Sterling or somebody from abroad; at least from me.

  5. pbarany says:

    Good points, RC, especially on Toney.

    Nevertheless I would rather take a risk and wait one more year (which nobody would agree with), and give the next season to Nketiah and Balogun (assuming Lacazette is not interested in a contract renewal). At the end of the next campaign I would reevaluate Toney, and possibly have him replaced our weaker striker (now when they had their fair share of chances) or pursue a different alternative if Ivan wouldn’t come through.

  6. RC78 says:

    Your argument and position make sense 🙂

    Now, Nunez will be sold at 80 Mln EUR as this is the asking price. There are a few clubs wanting him, including Atletico, PSG and Newcastle

  7. fred1266 says:

    Seeing that list just makes me said things didn’t work out with PEA

  8. RC78 says:

    Fred – indeed…but it is what it is…PEA was amongst the top 4 forwards in the EPL while he was with us with Kane, Salah and Vardy.

  9. RC78 says:

    pbarany – I will do another post on non-English and non-EPL forward players.

  10. fred1266 says:

    Yea that why none of the name fill me with excitement besides Vardy none IMO can be a 20 goal a season guy

  11. RC78 says:

    We can’t aim for Haaland, Mbappe, Salah, Lewandowski, Jota, Mane, Foden, Kane, Benzema, J. Felix, Vlahovic type of players…We may not want to take a huge gamble (above 50 Mln Pounds) on players like Nunez, David, Osimhen…so we do not have much choice to be honest…

    We could try players like Richarlison, Shick, Chiesa/Simeone, Ben Yedder, Isak…or even Lautaro Martinez, Dybala (not sure what he would add to the squad as we have ESR already…)..,

    Let us see…who we bring in in the end but I would not be surprised if we went with I. Toney in the end.

  12. fred1266 says:

    Exactly we can’t aim for the elite so why settle for mediocrity

  13. RC78 says:

    We gotta aim in between 😛 but closer to the Elite…

  14. RC78 says:

    Damn it! Stupid Pochetinno won’t be selected by Man Utd

  15. pbarany says:

    “I will do another post on non-English and non-EPL forward players.” – I will set my browser homepage to ArsenalArsenal. 🙂

    “We gotta aim in between 😛 but closer to the Elite…” – Amen to that. Albeit the best case would be to find somebody who is in fact elite, but other clubs fail to realize that. See Tierney or Odegaard (maybe Ramsdale too) whom we could snatch for a reasonable price well below their fair value.

    My guys are Gravenberch and Koopmeiners, but both are CMs – therefore irrelevant in the CF discussion – and I’m biased towards Dutch players. (Not to mention Gravenberch is represented by Mino Raiola, and I don’t want that scumbag near my club.)

  16. RC78 says:

    Gravenbergh is pbbly Bayern, Dortmund or Juve bound…

    The Dutch league produces good talent indeed

  17. LB says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the attacker that will inevitably arrive in the summer will be someone that no one expected. Tomiyasu?

  18. omgarsenal says:

    I would class the suggested candidates as being mediocre, including Vardy, who imho, is getting on, but Sterling is still young and can, with coaching like Arteta can provide (similar to his mentor Guiardiola), fit in well. At the rate ESR, Saka, Martinelli and company are developing, we may only need a replacement for Laca eventually. Pepe is still a work in progress so an other winger might be a good investment.

  19. pbarany says:

    Edu might snatch a 18-19 year-old unknown/unexpected South American boy from the Brazieirao, LB. But I don’t think we would sign somebody from the top 7 leagues, or from Russia, Belgium, Turkey, Scotland, the US or the Championship either.

    Lokonga was a shrewd business to sign, but he came as the #4 CM. I doubt he could find a #1 striker outside the top 7 leagues, and the reasonable candidates were already rumored. Nevertheless I won’t mind you being right as I like surprises…

  20. LB says:

    Very good point pb and one that had not crossed my mind, it is highly unlikely that a number 1 striker can be found outside the top 7 leagues. I still find the idea of a signing out of left field quite exciting though.

  21. LB says:

    I watched the game last night, the gulf was substantial, unfortunately it was women against girls. I really wanted to write that, chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.

  22. LBG says:

    Agree to some extent re last night. But very unlucky our “girls” as well.
    Manu Petit happy to earn some more money criticising, this time, Thierry Henry for his arrogant celebration of a goal. The same Manu who took the Chelski roubles without a second thought. Some players had a right to celebrate how they liked, Manu!

  23. LBG says:

    Since we are all speculating ( ridiculously) on new players we would like to acquire ( of course, it’s good fun!🤔), and going back to possible replacements ( anyone with four working limbs!) for my bete noir, X, what do AAers think of Football London’s suggestion of Renato Sanchez as the perfect back up, creatively, for Partey and BOdegaard? (Breathe!)
    If, big IF, we could keep him fit, very few better at carrying the ball, ‘assisting’ our new 20+ striker ( and Balogun, Fred) to become top goalscorer in the season, would we have potential to threaten Manshitty and the Dippers?
    Do we want an attacking midfielder as replacement, to enhance our marvellous reputation for beautiful football……or do we go for my previous suggestion, and get Bissouma?

    I thank you all for reading my sentences!😁

  24. LBG says:

    Shame the Australian girls are so good!

  25. LBG says:

    That’s cricket for the uninitiated!

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