Ledley's Talking Points: The Premier League's Next Top Striker
7 Talking Points
Morata became the most expensive Spanish player of all-time and Chelsea’s record signing last week. Carlo Ancelotti described him as “a complete striker” and James Rodriguez added he’s “an excellent player with unique skills.” He scored 15 goals in La Liga last season despite only being started 14 times. Earmarked to replace the outgoing Diego Costa as first-choice striker, it’s a tough at to follow and Conte will no doubt expect 20+ goals from the Spaniard.
Lukaku is another big summer mover, joining Manchester United who will be hoping that the Belgian can provide the goals they will be missing in Ibra’s absence. Romelu has already proved himself at Everton but now he has to step up with a new challenge and the added pressure that comes with playing for a club like United. The players around him will provide better service so there’s no reason why he can’t improve on his already phenomenal goal scoring record.
Chicharito completes the list of top strikers transferring to the Premier League, and at €20m it could turn out to be a fantastic bit of business for the Hammers. In today’s market, that’s certainly a bargain. Of the 59 goals he scored for United between 2012 and 2014, every single one was inside the box and 52 were first-time finishes. He’s a fox in the box and makes goals look ridiculously easy to score. If Bilic can get the best out of him he could turn out to be the transfer of the summer.
Harry Kane has insisted he will remain at Spurs and a pay rise at one of Europe's giant clubs will not tempt him to leave. Tottenham have what they need to make an even stronger title challenge next season, and they’ve shown they have it in them to finish above the likes of Chelsea, Man City and United. Playing at Wembley will be a challenge but the boys are mentally strong so should settle quickly.
Phil Foden made his first team debut for Man City in the first Manchester derby to be held outside the UK. The 17-year-old proved to be an exciting young talent and will hopefully get some game time this season at the Etihad. Pep’s praise after the game said it all: “I don’t have words. I would like to have the right words to describe what I saw. You are lucky guys, believe me, you are the guys who saw his first game in the first team. I’ve not seen something like I saw today for a long time. His performance was another level."
Antonio Cassano signed for Hellas Verona on 10th July, but announced he’d rather retire instead 8 days later. Just eighty minutes after that announcement, he pulled a U-turn and said he would be playing for his new team this season and had just had “a bit of a meltdown.” That was the plan until Monday, when it emerged that actually, he was going to leave the club. In a statement he said: “I will not play football anymore. I apologise to the city of Verona, to all the fans, to the president.” Then, perhaps unsurprisingly in yet another twist, he announced on his wife’s Twitter account: "I'm not retiring, I just simply don't feel like continuing with Hellas Verona.”
Neymar may or may not become the world's most expensive player this summer. Depending on who you listen to, the Brazilian is either absolutely not leaving Barcelona or wants to step out of Messi's shadow and has already communicated with his teammates that he is leaving for an eye-watering €222m deal with PSG. So it's somewhere between 95% done and 95% not happening.
Win With King
This season I will be playing 7OTB as the captain of two teams. Ledley's Legends, which is my squad of current and former pro footballers, and Ledley's Challengers which will be made up of regular players like you. To be in with a chance of being selected for Ledley's Challengers, simply make sure you are signed up to play 7OTB and share this post on Facebook, or this post on Twitter. Share both and you will enter the draw twice.
There are six places to fill and the players will be chosen at random next week. All selected players will also win a personalised England or Spurs shirt signed by myself.
My team of legends is starting to shape up with the addition of Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane. The full squad will be announced very soon, so keep an eye out for updates!
11 Days Until Kick-Off
The football season returns in just 11 days time, but you can make your selections for Matchweek 1 and start playing your way to £1million now. Don't forget to grab 6 of your mates, family members or work colleagues to create a team, take on Ledley's Legends and play for the weekly team prize of £700. Click here to play now.