Searching For A Number Nine – Championship (Part Two)

Here is the second part to my look at potential number nines from the Championship which Wednesday could target. News of Wednesday’s interest in Kenneth Zohore broke yesterday, a player I wrote about a couple of days ago, but here are several more players who could make a difference for us.

Millwall

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson

Icelandic international Bodvarsson is a striker who knows the Championship well, having played one hundred and twenty-six games at the level. He’s scored twenty goals and made nine assists in that time, which doesn’t sound great, but taking minutes played into account, he has a direct goal involvement every 2.39 games. The twenty-eight-year-old is likely to be surplus to requirements, after the arrivals of Mason Bennett and Troy Parrott.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith, 31, is an experienced operator in the Championship. He’s played two hundred and twenty-six games, scoring fifty goals and setting up twenty-six for teammates. As far as physical presences in the final third go, you’ll struggle to find anyone like Smith, and it’s why he’s played for a handful of teams in the second tier. He’s in the final year of his contract, but Millwall gaffer Gary Rowett may keep him around as an option from the bench.

Norwich

Josip Drmic

Josep Drmic signed for Norwich on a free transfer last summer from German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach, but things haven’t gone to plan for the Switzerland international so far. The striker, who has scored goals in the Bundesliga, is likely to be behind new arrival Jordan Hugill and Teemu Pukki in the pecking order this season. And this could see Daniel Farke and the player himself decide a temporary parting of ways could suit both parties. However, the twenty-eight year old hasn’t played as a regular starter for a while.

Adam Idah

Idah, 19, is a striker with a lot of potential. Norwich believe he can go on to achieve big things in the game, but as yet, his senior experience has been sparse. Recently back from representing the Republic of Ireland, Idah, like Drmic, is likely to be behind the likes of Hugill and Pukki in the reckoning as Norwich fight to achieve promotion back to the top flight. They could let their starlet out to gain some much-needed experience, and if they do, the Championship is a potential destination.

Nottingham Forest

Nuno Da Costa

Da Costa, 29, arrived at Forest in January from Strasbourg, but at the top of the pitch Lewis Grabban and new signing Lyle Taylor will battle it out to lead the line. We’ve seen Da Costa play wide, which could be a role Sabri Lamouchi plans to use him in, but if his football is limited, could the striker from Cape Verde be available so soon after arriving? In terms of his goalscoring record, he’s netted in the top two tiers in France, after representing Strasbourg and Valenciennes.

Preston

Jayden Stockley

Stockley, 26, has played at all levels of the football league, arriving at Preston from Exeter in January 2019. He’s been very much a bit-part player so far, with most of his appearances coming as a substitute. So, it’s understandable he’s only scored seven goals up to press. Stockley is a player Wednesday fans will know, after his impressive fourteen-minute cameo in July. Alex Neil will likely be keen to utilise the Poole born striker from the bench again this season.

Stoke

Tyrese Campbell

Stoke have an abundance of strikers, so it will be no surprise I include three of them here. Starting with twenty-year-old Tyrese Campbell, who recently penned a new deal with the club. He’s been somewhat of a squad player so far for the Potters, and with the likes of Benik Afobe and Steven Fletcher at the club, he may not be content with a place on the bench. However, if a striker or two head for the exit, manager Michael O’Neill will want to keep him in the building.

Lee Gregory

Sheffield-born striker Lee Gregory, 32, was in an out of a struggling Stoke team last season. After five successful years with Millwall, which came to an end in July 2019, he’s been unable to have the impact he hoped with The Potters so far. Gregory has proven himself a capable performer in the Championship, with thirty-six goals and seventeen assists from one hundred and sixty-six games. His contract is up next summer, but if he was a buy, his age would be an issue I’d imagine.

Sam Vokes

Vokes, 30, is an experienced operator in the second tier, with two hundred and forty-six games under his belt. He’s scored on sixty occasions and proven himself to be an excellent focal part in attack. Vokes is a striker who has the intelligence, fight and physical presence many teams will be looking for, but he could find himself battling for a starting spot at the Bet365 this season. Throughout his career, he’s had a direct goal involvement every 2.1 games, based on minutes played.

Watford

Luis Suarez

Watford have more strikers on their books than I’ve had hot dinners. And, they appear to keep adding to this department. Columbian attacker Luis Suarez has just returned to the club following a loan spell in La Liga 2 with Real Zaragoza. The twenty-two-year-old scored nineteen goals and made six assists from thirty-seven starts, and it remains to be seen whether he will be in Vladimir Ivic’s plans for the coming season. Or if he will head out on loan once again.

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