28-year-old Valencia and Spanish forward Roberto Soldado has been linked with possible moves to Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, with the former club seeming to be in pole position with a reported price tag of €30 million (the release clause in his contract). But how does he compare with the 2012/2013 Premier League top strikers?
A great La Liga campaign from Real Sociedad denied captain Soldado and his Valencia team a Champions League position, but Spanish forward can be pleased with his contribution to his side, much like Gareth Bale for the North London side Tottenham Hotspur.
Roberto Soldado totaled 24 goals in La Liga, but was outscored by compatriot and new Manchester City signing, Alvaro Negredo. The former Sevilla forward scored 25 goals in the Spanish First Division and was named top goalscorer.
But, in terms of chance conversion, Soldado can be argued as a much more prolific striker than the new City man.
Negredo struck 25 goals in 150 shots – a 16% chance conversion.
What is Soldado’s, you ask? The potential new Premier League addition scored 24 La Liga goals from 100 shots – a 24% chnace conversion.
Is that a chance conversion rate worth a staggering €30 million euros, considering the Valencia forward is 28-years-old?
The price tag can be argued both ways when comparing him with current Premier League strikers. Manchester United’s £24m fee for Robin van Persie was scrutinised – some felt that a £24m fee for a 28-year-old didn’t seem like a good value – until he scored 26 goals and basically delivered the trophy from the Etihad back to Old Trafford. He topped the Premier League goalscoring charts with 26 goals from 118 shots – a 22% chance conversion.
Those thinking that Robin van Persie’s chance conversion can’t be bettered in the Premier League, will have to think again. Two Premier League strikers and Roberto Soldado actually bettered Robin van Persie’s chance conversion.
Suarez? No, it wasn’t him. Suarez scored 23 goals from 143 shots – a 16% chance conversion, not the prolific striker most seem to think.
Bale? Not him either. Spurs’ Welsh wizard scored 21 goals from 133 shots, a chance conversion of 15%.
Michu? The Spanish number 9 had a spectacular first season in the Premier League, recording 18 goals from 88 shots – an impressive 20% chance conversion.
So who were the two Premier League forwards then? The answers, Dimitar Berbatov and… Christian Benteke.
Unlikely? Maybe so, but the statistics show the most deadly strikers in the Premier League are Fulham and Aston Villa’s frontmen.
Berbatov scored 15 goals from 65 shots. Some may say he doesn’t run about on the pitch, but one characteristic of the Bulgarian forward you can’t argue is that he is clinical in front of goal. Berbatov’s chance conversion is 23%.
Berbatov’s chance conversion is only bettered by Benteke and Soldado.
Christian Benteke scored 19 goals from 73 shots – a staggering 26% chance conversion.
Benteke was rumoured to have handed in a transfer request, which alerted the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, but it seemed Levy and Baldini were not prepared to pay such a hefty price. Some papers quoted £20m for the Belgian forward, and so Benteke signed a new contract at Villa Park.
Liverpool’s interest in Soldado has been stimulated by the media due to the ongoing Suarez saga, with Arsenal and Real Madrid both in for the Uruguayan forward, showing that Liverpool will need to replace Suarez with a clinical forward.
In terms of Spurs, instead of trying to carry on and pursue the young Belgian striker, Chrstian Benteke, Levy, Baldini and Villas-Boas have turned their sights elsewhere and look to sign Roberto Soldado as their first choice striker next season. This could well be the one of the best signings of the summer, or the biggest flop. Either way, Spurs are in dire need of a proper number 9.
La Liga Stats were taken from WhoScored.
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