The presence of a reliable goalscorer can often prove the difference between success and failure at the highest level, with the January transfer window offering clubs a chance to strengthen their attacking options.
We’ve decided to look at some match-winning stars who may just be attracting interest from top-flight sides, here are five in-form forwards who should be on the radar of Premier League clubs:
Patson Daka – Red Bull Salzburg
Red Bull Salzburg has been a breeding ground for top talents in recent seasons with the likes of Sadio Mane and Erling Haaland amongst the names to have been nurtured by the Austrian side, the club’s scouting network having unearthed plenty of rough diamonds.
Salzburg have dominated the Austrian Bundesliga over the past decade and have won the past seven league titles in succession, with their latest side once again leading the title race and possessing several fine prospects.
Amongst their brightest talents is forward Patson Daka, who has scored eight goals in just six league starts this season and a prolific 15 in just 17 appearances in all competitions.
The 22-year-old’s exploits have reportedly attracted Premier League interest with Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham all understood to have tracked his progress.
West Ham target Patson Daka has 24 goals and 6 assists in 31 games for RB Salzburg this season. Here he is celebrating one goal by doing a front flip, and another by doing a backflip. Now that's versatility. pic.twitter.com/L778jB4W4K
— MUNDIAL (H) (@MundialMag) January 11, 2021
Daka possesses great pace and intelligent movement, whilst he has impressive finishing ability off either foot and registered 0.5 goals per shot on target during a 2019/20 campaign that delivered 27 goals and 12 assists in just 45 appearances.
Salzburg have shown a willingness to let their prized assets depart when Europe’s biggest clubs come circling and Daka looks set to be the next exciting prospect poached from the Austrian outfit.
Boulaye Dia – Reims
Boulaye Dia is a name that has been linked continuously to the Premier League this season after bursting onto the scene at Reims this term, the forward currently level with Kylian Mbappe in the race to finish as Ligue 1’s leading scorer.
Dia started the season in spectacular fashion with eight goals in his first eight league appearances, a remarkable return for a struggling side with the Senegal international’s form continuing in recent weeks.
The 24-year-old has also netted four times in his past four appearances, scoring in vital wins over Nantes, Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne as Reims have moved away from Ligue 1’s relegation places.
Dia has averaged a goal every 114 minutes this season with Newcastle, Arsenal and West Ham understood to be leading the chase for his services, and whilst the star recently reiterated his happiness with life at Reims the prospect of a Premier League move could prove too difficult to turn down.
⚽️ Only Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah have scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues this season than Boulaye Dia (12)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 11, 2021
Dia also confirmed he has a release clause in his current contract which makes him attainable to any side who matches that fee, though the figure in question has not been specified.
Ivan Toney – Brentford
Ivan Toney has taken a long route back towards the top after the disappointment of failing to make the grade at Newcastle, but the forward may just be the hottest striking property in England’s lower leagues.
Toney signed for Newcastle as a teenager after impressing at Northampton Town but made just four senior appearances for the Magpies, spending time on loan at four different clubs before leaving for Peterborough on a permanent basis.
It proved a wise decision as the forward flourished in his new surroundings, scoring 40 goals in just 76 league appearances across two seasons and being named as the League One Player of the Season in 2019/20.
Those performances attracted the interest of Brentford who made their move for Toney as a replacement for the Aston Villa-bound Ollie Watkins, and the 24-year-old has taken the step up in his stride with a hugely impressive 16 goals in 22 Championship appearances.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 30, 2020
Toney is currently the joint-leader – ironically alongside another former Newcastle prospect in Adam Armstrong – in the race for the Golden Boot and has six goals in his past 10, whilst the summer signing has won plaudits for his maturity and was handed Brentford’s captaincy during a recent win over promotion rivals Reading.
Prising him away from an ambitious Brentford side so soon will be difficult, but the star has made no secret of his desire to become a Premier League player and there will no doubt be vultures circling should the Bees fail to win promotion this season.
Wout Weghorst – Wolfsburg
Wout Weghorst has quietly established himself as one of the best strikers in the Bundesliga since signing for Wolfsburg from AZ Alkmaar two-and-a-half years ago, scoring 33 goals over the past two league campaigns as the dominant focal point of the German side.
The towering target-man stands a colossal 6ft 5in and it’s that physicality that has proven a nightmare for opposition defences, with the forward having enjoyed a brilliant start to the season for a Wolfsburg side just three points adrift of the Champions League places.
The 28-year-old has scored eight goals in his past nine league appearances to fire their charge and only three players – Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Andre Silva – have scored more Bundesliga goals so far this season.
Any side in need of a focal point could do worse than make an approach for the four-cap Netherlands international, whose hulking frame looks tailor-made for the demands of the Premier League.
Tottenham and Newcastle have previously been linked with a player who, despite lacking pace, works tirelessly leading the line, his willingness to chase lost causes a stand-out asset to his game with Weghorst ranking second for intensive runs made in the Bundesliga during the 2019/20 season.
Sardar Azmoun – Zenit St Petersburg
Zenit St Petersburg lead the standings in Russia once more following an impressive start to the 2020/21 season, their charge largely inspired by the prolific partnership of forwards Artem Dzyuba and Sardar Azmoun.
The duo finished as the joint-leading scorers in the Russian Premier League last season and have picked up where they left off during the current campaign, netting 11 goals each prior to the division’s mid-season break.
Azmoun was in inspired form throughout December including scoring a hat-trick and providing a further two assists in a 5-1 thrashing of Ural, in addition to netting further goals in wins over Dinamo Moscow and title rivals Spartak Moscow.
The Iranian international – who has scored 33 goals in 51 caps at international level – has spent much of his career in Russia with spells at Rubin Kazan and Rostov before moving to Zenit, where he has since plundered an impressive 37 goals in just 51 league appearances.
Borussia Dortmund have been linked, whilst the 26-year-old has previously been monitored by Leicester, Everton and West Ham.
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