It is clear to see that Cardiff City are lacking firepower without a goal-scorer this season. Adding a striker is essential to Paul Trollope’s cause.
Cardiff City lacking firepower
The opening EFL game for Cardiff City finished 0-0 away to Birmingham City; a result many could have predicted. Two evenly matched teams, both well organised yet lacking that magic touch upfront. New signing Frédéric Gounongbe missed an open goal from two yards out in the game at St. Andrews.
Trollope’s attacking line-up is limited and make-shift. Kenneth Zohore and Anthony Pilkington—known as a winger—make up the trio of strikers along with Gounongbe. Lex Immers can also play as a forward, but his favoured position is behind the striker. With Zohore and Gounongbe as the first pick strikers, it only confirms the lack of goal-poaching on offer.
Gounongbe is known for his aerial ability so would suit a target man role. Assisting a poacher would only enhance his credibility. Zohore did poach a few goals towards the end of last season, having finally been utilised by then-manager Russell Slade.
The target man role was held by Kenwyne Jones before his departure. Jay Bothroyd had also proven himself in the role in a goal-glut partnership with Michael Chopra.
Poacher is a must
Slade had bought Eoin Doyle to fulfil such a role but Doyle has since moved to Preston North End. Doyle had scored over 25 goals for Chesterfield before joining in January 2015. The only other candidate at the club capable is Adam Le Fondre. Yet after a poor spell at the Bluebirds he is free to leave along with Federico Macheda.
The club are unquestionably missing a partnership in an attacking 5-3-2 formation. Bothroyd and Chopra scored 110 goals in over 290 appearances for City. Both, when in their best form, played along side the other.
Theirs was a partnership which ceased in 2011 and has yet to be replaced with any real continuity. 21 strikers have joined Cardiff City since the pair left, with 12 leaving the club in the same time. Five of those left after just one season at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Who could fill the void?
Looking at the top scorers charts for the 2015/2016 season, there are a few players worth signing.
Lee Gregory of Millwall scored 20 goals last season in a difficult first year back at England’s third-tier. The striker has 26 goals in 70 plus appearances for the Lions.
Matt Taylor of Bristol Rovers bagged 27 goals in League Two last season, helping Rovers to successive promotions from the National League to League One. He has already made a strong start to the season, meaning that Cardiff should be keeping tabs on him.
Across the city of Bristol, Jonathan Kodija had a successful campaign in what was a relegation battle for Bristol City. He finished the season with 18 goals. However, with Bristol City slapping a huge price-tag of £10 million, it’s very doubtful any Championship club would be willing to sign him.
Netting 52 goals between them for Cheltenham Town, Danny Wright and Dan Holman fired Town straight back to League Two at the first time of asking. Signing either of these two would be a risk, but with the striker situation as it is, it could well be worth it.