Despite a late, gracious attempt by Blues to sign Lewis Grabban from Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest have won the race to sign the striker, who scored 20 goals last season for Sunderland and rivals Aston Villa. It’s not all doom and gloom however, as the £5 million bid for the striker shows that Monk has money to spend and is willing to do so in order to ensure Blues endure a successful 18/19 campaign. In this feature, I will analyse a number of potential strikers we could attempt to sign.
The Portuguese currently plies his trade at Norwich City, having previously played for Nottingham Forest on loan, as well as Swansea City. Averaging just under a goal every other game for the Canaries, it’s rumoured that they are ready to sell the striker, in order to raise funds. Despite only scoring 8 goals last season, Oliveira is a proven goal scorer and would be a guaranteed starter for Blues. Oliveira would command a fee similar to Grabban’s, I believe he would be a hit at blues, provided he is provided with confidence by Monk.
Courted by a host of championship rivals following an incredibly successful campaign at Peterborough, scoring 32 goals for the League One side, Marriott would be a fantastic signing for Blues. Peterborough would command a 6-figure fee, and despite many rumours of Forest and Bristol close to signing him, Marriott remains a Peterborough player. Due to Forest snapping up Grabban, Blues should turn their attention to him. Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony claimed that anyone who signed the striker would be a “serious promotion contender”. I believe he should be the main target for Blues.
Signed by West Ham in January by David Moyes, who has now left the Hammers, Hugill was signed as a backup striker due to a goal-scoring inefficiency. Hugill would be a guaranteed first-team starter in almost all of the 24 teams in the increasingly-competitive Championship. Hugill, a former target for Blues last season, has been allowed to leave the Irons on either a loan or permanent. Having previously played for Preston, the striker is another guaranteed goal-scorer in the championship – therefore Monk should ensure that Hugill is a target. He is a player who would flourish under Monk next season.
The young Scottish target man was taken on loan by Barnsley in January, despite scoring nine goals for the Tykes, he was unable to save them from relegation, yet earned the club’s player of the season – although having been there for five months. Swansea, now in the Championship, are likely to keep McBurnie at the Liberty Stadium, however it would be worth an effort to sign him from Monk, permanent or loan. McBurnie proved his potential at Barnsley last season and would ensure Blues would be towards the top half of the table, if he was given game time.
The Bermudan front man has endured a series of long-lasting injuries throughout his career, yet when fit, he is a risk worth taking – as long as luck is on his side, and he can stay fit. Signed by Burnley last year, Wells only played 10 games last season, scoring no goals. A backup striker to Wood, Barnes and Vokes, game time was extremely limited and rumours suggest that Burnley are ready to move him on, despite being at Turf Moor for only a year. Wells was linked with Blues before his move to Burnley, yet the attraction of Premier League football was too strong.
The young Sudanese striker, 24, scored 23 goals in League Two for Cheltenham last season, and a move to St. Andrews would be a perfect stage to prove himself as a goal scorer. Rumours emerged that Monk has joined the long list of clubs attempting to sign him, including Brentford and Peterborough. Just like Vassell, Eisa is a proven goal scorer in the lower leagues, and would be worth a punt. Eisa is eager to leave the Robins, with the club turning down a transfer request from the hitman, ensuring his departure from the club is almost inevitable.