Playmaker's bionic striker built from second-tier hotshots

          The Ultimate Championship Striker?

          2021/02/18 10:40
          Louis Bent & Stephen Gillett

          Every EFL Championship team wishes they had the perfect striker. A forward with the lot: pace, power, precision, vision, aerial prowess, you name it. And goals, lots and lots of goals.

          To while away an enjoyable hour or two, Playmaker attempted to create the dream Championship striker, looking at who currently tops the stats across a range of categories vital for any self-respecting frontman.

          Goals Per 90 – Ivan Toney

          ©Getty / Kieran Cleeves - PA Images

          Goals pay the rent and our dream striker has to be hitting the back of the net with regularity, so goals per 90 has to be a key factor in our decision making.

          On fire for the Bees this season, Brentford's Ivan Toney tops the rankings with 0.79 goals per 90 minutes played. Although his team lost the West London derby to QPR, Toney was on target again last night - to take his league tally to 24 goals in 2020/21, more than any other player in the top four tiers. Our striking superhero definitely needs Toney's predatory instincts. 

          Shots on Target Per 90 – Adam Armstrong

          ©Getty / Jan Kruger

          You've got to be in it to win it and any striker serious about scoring a lot of goals has got to be hitting the target consistently.

          Our bionic centre-forward needs to be plugging an exceptional amount of shots on target per 90 minutes played and Blackburn Rovers hotshot Adam Armstrong is the man for the job.

          Armstrong is way ahead of every other Championship striker for shots (135) and shots on target (60) this season, with 44% of his total shots making the goalkeeper work. That's impressive stuff, and with Armstrong (who scored a late consolation in Blackburn's 2-1 loss to Barnsley last night) in the mix, our dream striker would know exactly where the goal is.

          Conversion Rate – Duncan Watmore

          ©Getty / STU FORSTER

          Our ultimate striker needs to have ice running through his veins when a chance comes his way - with the kind of clinical streak that makes opposition defences pay for the slightest slip.

          In this respect, our mutant striker needs a bit of Duncan Watmore about him - as the Boro striker's shown some serious talent when it comes to making his shots count.

          In terms of goals per shot, Watmore boasts a very impressive 40% conversion rate in the Championship this season - scoring six of his 15 shots (12 of them on target) since moving to Teeside on a short-term contract in November. 

          Dribbles Per 90 – Lucas Joao

          We want our hybrid Hercules to scare the living daylights out of defenders when he's faced them up with the ball at his he needs some dribbling smarts.

          With 17 goals and five assists to his name, Reading's Lucas João has shown he's got a lot to offer this season and, although a fair few wingers beat João in the dribbling category, the Royals striker tops the charts for dribbles-per-90 out of Championship centre-forwards in 2020/21.

          With 1.8 dribbles-per-90 and a 65% dribble completion rate, João promises to keep defenders on their toes and add the unpredictability that's going to make our Ultimate Striker such a fearsome opponent. 

          Key Passes Per90 – Teemu Pukki

          ©Getty / Stephen Pond - FIFA

          Our lethal leviathan needs an eye for a pass, as well as an eye for goal. 

          Although you have to scroll a fair way down the list of Championship key pass specialists to find a centre forward, the striker with most key passes per 90 this season is Norwich City's Teemu Pukki who averages 1.3 key passes per 90.

          To help make our point, Pukki was in fine form last night - with a goal and an assist in the Canaries' 2-0 win at Coventry. The best centre forwards know when to shoot themselves and when to play in others, and the Finnish striker's decision-making and ability to play the killer pass would add yet another string to the bow of our goal-scoring gargantuan. 

          Aerials Won Per 90 – Kieffer Moore

          ©Getty / David Davies - PA Images

          Finally, our striking colossus needs to be able to use his head literally, as well as metaphorically.

          The ability to win aerial duels and feast on crosses can be a very dangerous weapon and Cardiff City striker Kieffer Moore's got to enter the equation at this juncture. 

          The Welshman tops the stats for aerials won per 90 in the Championship with an imposing figure of 11.1. Six of Moore's goals this season have come from inside the six-yard box (no player has score more from this range) and when it comes to putting the fear of God into goalkeepers and defenders, Moore has the presence and authority that will make facing our bionic striker a daunting proposition. 

          So, there you have it, Playmaker's Hybrid Championship centre-forward: Ivam-Teemas WatMoore. We hope you agree that he'd be one heck of a player. 

          Let us know in the comments below if you agree with our selection or if there are other second tier strikers who should have been included in our Frankensteinian thought experiment. 


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