Arsenal’s imminent signing of Lille and Ivory Coast forward Nicolas Pepe will be a major boost to the Gunners’ attacking options and put them up amongst the strongest front lines in English football.
How does the Gunners’ attack rank against the rest of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ though? Well, I’m glad you asked…
6th: Manchester United
?Hampered by their transfer ban, ?Chelsea have been unable to add to their attacking options this summer. With a long-term injury to Callum Hudson-Odoi, the Blues’ best strike force for most of next season is likely to be ?Olivier Giroud up top with Christian Pulisic and ?Pedro either side of him.
They have strength in depth, as Willian is easily interchangeable with Pedro, while Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham will provide able backup to the ageing and less than prolific Giroud.
Once Callum Hudson-Odoi returns from his Achilles injury, the depth and quality to Chelsea’s attack will only increase, but the transfer ban has stopped them acquiring the goalscoring replacement for Eden Hazard that they desperately need.
4th: Tottenham Hotspur
?Tottenham’s front line are both reliable and exceptional in equal measure with ?Harry Kane, ?Son Heung-min and ?Dele Alli among the most consistent forward players in England.
Kane’s precision in front of goal and ?Son’s ability to beat a man anywhere on the pitch are complemented perfectly by Alli’s ability to occupy the spaces left behind by his two teammates. If Spurs can keep these three fit, then the sky’s the limit.
But that’s the key issue here. Injuries. As shown by their horrendous dip in form in the Premier League last season, where they lost four of the 11 games when Kane was missing in 2019, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are just one injury away from a much weaker front line.
Whilst Lucas Moura has shown his brilliance and Erik Lamela is capable of magic moments, neither are quite able to produce as regularly and reliably as Spurs’ main three attackers. with Fernando Llorente now departed, expect Mauricio Pochettino to dip into the market for one more attacker before deadline day.
Yes, ?Liverpool third. There is method to this madness.
Last season, Liverpool’s front three were up there with the best the Premier League has ever seen and their 97-point, Champions League-winning campaign was spearheaded by the brilliance of ?Mohamed Salah, ?Sadio Mane and ?Roberto Firmino.
But this year, the trio are all returning from long, arduous international summer tournaments. Salah and Firmino only reported back for training on Monday, while Mane has been afforded even more time to recover. The schedules of all three players has been fairly relentless for the last few years and that could catch up with them next season.
The Reds do have Divock Origi, Rhian Brewster and Xherdan Shaqiri in reserve, but their form so far in pre-season suggests they cannot be relied upon in the same way as Liverpool’s first-choice trio.
?With 35 goals between them last season, ?Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and ?Alexandre Lacazette were up there with the Premier League’s deadliest strike partnerships last season.
This season, it looks as though a new player will enter the game, as ?Arsenal have all but tied up a deal to bring Lille’s Nicolas Pepe to the Emirates. Pepe, along with Lionel Messi, was one of only two players to register 20+ goals and more than ten assists in Europe’s big five leagues last season.
His ability to cut in and create danger from the flank should complement Lacazette and Aubameyang beautifully and in Arsenal we could be looking at a team who scores goals for fun next season. With Alex Iwobi, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock able to provide strong competition, Premier League defences will already be having nightmares about facing this team.
1st: Manchester City
And as reliable as ever, it is ?Manchester City who finish top of this list. Regardless of the business done by other clubs this summer, no club can quite match the relentless dominance of ?Sergio Aguero, ?Raheem Sterling and ?Bernardo Silva.
Whilst Aguero is returning from a long Copa America campaign, City are afforded the luxury of having Gabriel Jesus as his deputy, whose introduction to the forward lineup does little to reduce its potency. Leroy Sane (if he stays) and Riyad Mahrez are excellent replacements for the two wide men when they are in need of a rest and will help City manage their busy fixture schedule.
With their first-choice front three finding the net 45 times in the Premier League last season, a goal from Aguero, Sterling or Silva joins death and taxes in a list of life’s inevitabilities.