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Tuesday, 07 April 2020

World's top-class strikers move to English Premier League

Premier League giants Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal signed four of the best strikers in world football during the summer transfer window

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 2 Sep 2014
Falcao, Balotelli, Costa and Sanchez
Falcao, Balotelli, Costa and Sanchez
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English Premier League clubs spent heavily in the summer transfer window to land some of the best strikers in the world.

Radamel Falcao

Radamel Falcao
(Photo: AP)

Minutes before the end of the transfer window, Manchester United announced their shock signing of Colombia striker Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan from Monaco.

The 20-time English champions have been trying to strengthen their squad in an attempt to halt an alarming decline after the last year's seventh-place finish under the ill-fated reign of David Moyes.

New manager Louis van Gaal has failed to win any of his first four games, including a humiliating League Cup loss at third-tier side MK Dons.

Now they are depending a lot on the European football's most eye-catching switch of Falcao.

''Falcao is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the game,'' van Gaal said. ''His appearance-to-goal ratio speaks for itself and, when a player of this caliber becomes available, it is an opportunity not to be missed.''

''Manchester United is the biggest club in the world and is clearly determined to get back to the top,'' said Falcao, who left Monaco a year after joining from Atletico Madrid for 60 million euros (then $78 million).

The 28-year-old adds another world-class player to Manchester's striking options that already includes Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, especially as the latter has suffered from different injuries last season.

The partnership of Falcao and Argentinean forward Angel Di Maria, who joined Manchester United from Real Madrid for a reported £59.7 million fee, will also add a lot to the Reds this season.

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli
(Photo: AP)

The 24-year-old Italian striker Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan for a reported £16 million fee.

Despite a history of disciplinary problems, Liverpool are depending on Balotelli to be a good replacement for Luiz Suarez who departed for Barcelona.

"I'm happy to be back because I left England and it was a mistake. I wanted to go to Italy, but I realised it was a mistake," Balotelli told Liverpool's website.

"English football is generally better. English football is beautiful."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted that Balotelli's signing represented something of a gamble.

"Mario is at a stage in his career where this might be his last chance," the Northern Irishman told Sky Sports.

"He needs to settle down and show maturity, but I have worked with loads of players like that.

"He has huge potential, but he needs to come here and be consistent and if he can do that then we have one hell of a player.

"We have strong family values and behavior is very important here. We believe we can improve his game and consistency in his game."

Asked what he expected from Balotelli, Rodgers joked: "Trouble!"

Diego Costa

Diego Costa,
(Photo: AP)

The 25-year-old Spanish striker joins Chelsea from Atletico Madrid for £32 million.

Costa joined the Blues after an exceptional season with Spanish league heroes Atletico.

Costa scored 36 goals last season, inspiring Atletico to a first La Liga title in 18 years -- as well as a place in the Champions League final -- and taking his tally at the club to 64 goals in 134 appearances.

He was lucky enough to have a perfect start in the Premier League after scoring four goals in three appearances for Chelsea.

"I'd say to the fans that you need to be confident that I personally will fight for this club to make sure we are in contention to win as many trophies as possible," Costa said.

"I'm part of a great group here of players and we will do everything we can to give the fans what they want, and that's titles.

"It was an easy decision for me to make.

"We have some of the best players in the world, the best manager in the world, and it's a club with great history.

"I want to improve, not only as a player but as an individual, and I believe this is the perfect place for me to do that. That's the reason I chose Chelsea and why I want to defend this shirt," he concluded.

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez
(Photo: AP)

Chile's star World Cup striker Sanchez, 25, agreed to join Arsenal from Barcelona where he made a total of 88 appearances, scoring 39 goals during his three seasons with the Catalan side.

"I'm so happy to be joining Arsenal, a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London," said Sanchez.

"I'm looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to be playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and Champions League. I will give my best to Arsenal and want to make all the supporters happy."

Sanchez celebrated his first Premier League goal against Leicester on Sunday. The goal made him the 100th player to score for the north London side in the Premier League era.

He also scored a priceless winner against Besiktas in the Champions League play-offs.

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