The World Cup always precedes some frenzied activity in the summer transfer market and 2014 should be no different. A number of top quality players are already being linked with moves to the Premier League and among those is Ecuador’s prolific striker Enner Valencia.
Prior to the final group game with France, the 25 year old had scored all three of Ecuador’s goals in the tournament and according to The Independent, at least three of England’s top flight clubs are prepared to make an offer when the window opens on July 1st.
A prolific 12 months
Valencia’s three strikes at Brazil 2014 have contributed to an overall record of 7 goals in 12 international games for his country. It’s already been a prolific year for the centre forward, who plays his club football in Mexico with Premier League side Pachuca who will face a battle if they are to hold on to his services.
“Enner Valencia’s value increases every day. We don’t know if he will stay, it will be hard given the offers we have received,” said Pachuca’s Vice President Andre Vassi.
Valencia only joined up with his current employers in January 2014 but proved to be an instant hit, scoring 18 goals in 23 games at the Estadio Hidalgo. That type of form, together with his displays at the World Cup has attracted some high profile suitors.
The Main Contenders
According to sources, Newcastle, Spurs and now Everton have been linked with a move for the striker and all three have issues up front and could therefore be logical destinations.
Newcastle have serious striking problems with Papiss Cisse set to miss the start of the 2014-15 campaign with a broken kneecap. It’s thought that Alan Pardew has missed out on a deal for Bafetimbi Gomis so a move for Valencia would make sense.
Spurs have two high calibre strikers at the club but Roberto Solado endured a difficult first campaign in England, scoring just six league goals all season, four of which came from the penalty spot. Emmanuel Adebayor was far more successful but the Togolese had a payment agreement with Manchester City whereby his former employers would contribute to the striker’s considerable wages. With that agreement coming to an end, it could be the case that Tottenham simply can’t afford to keep Adebayor at White Hart Lane.
As for Everton, Roberto Martinez made use of two on loan strikers in the previous campaign. Romelu Lukaku enjoyed a productive season while the giant Lacina Traore, who was injured when he arrived at Goodison, only featured once in the league.
While the manager was bringing in those temporary players, Nikica Jelavic was allowed to move on to Hull City and with a clear lack of firepower, there is a real need to bring someone in on a permanent basis.
Enner Valencia’s record since the start of 2014 has undoubtedly been impressive but potential buyers would do well to look back a little further. Prior to joining his current club in January, Valencia spent three years with Ecuadorian side Emelec where his average goals to game ratio was down to around one in five.
Clearly he is improving as a player but a switch to the English Premier League would have to be seen as something of a gamble.
It’s thought that of the three sides currently linked with the centre forward, Spurs are in pole position. The North Londoners are favourites to a top four finish next season but is Enner Valencia the man to fire them back into the Champions League?