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New strikers: How have they fared in the Premier League?

Sports Mole reflects on how 10 strikers that joined Premier League clubs during the summer have fared so far this season.

Chelsea showed last term that not having a consistent scorer of goals can be the difference between winning the Premier League title and not.

It's the same where relegation is concerned. During the 2013-14 campaign, Norwich City (28) and Cardiff City (32) scored the least amount of goals over the 38 games and subsequently are now plying their trade in the Championship.

That is the reason why during the summer transfer window, most Premier League managers were in market for new strikers that could make the difference.

With the Premier League now on a break for the latest round of international matches, Sports Mole has assessed how 10 frontmen have fared during the early stages of their careers with their respective new clubs in the top flight.


1. Danny Welbeck, Arsenal

Arsenal's English striker Danny Welbeck shoots to score their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on September 20, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Manchester United (£16m)
PL appearances: 4 PL goals: 1

Arsene Wenger recently conceded that had he been in the country on deadline day, Welbeck may not have joined Arsenal. Yet, following an injury suffered by Olivier Giroud that has ruled him out until 2015, the Gunners were in desperate need of a striker.

The accusation aimed at Welbeck throughout his time at Man United was that he did not score enough goals, particularly in the important games. So far, he is yet to dispel that belief. His one goal came against Aston Villa, but he failed to find the net in big fixtures against Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. He has added some dynamism to the Arsenal frontline and also scored a Champions League hat-trick, but there is still plenty for the 23-year-old to prove when it really matters domestically.

Rating: 5/10


2. Lukas Jutkiewicz, Burnley

Lukas Jutkiewicz of Burnley is challenged by Scott Dann of Crystal Palace during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Burnley at Selhurst Park on September 13, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Middlesbrough (2.25m)
PL appearances: 7 PL goals: 0

After just one Premier League outing as a teenager, Jutkiewicz was deemed surplus to requirements by Everton. Since then, he has mainly featured in the Championship with Coventry City, Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers, but has never exactly been what could be described as prolific.

That is why it was somewhat of a surprise when Sean Dyche moved for the 25-year-old, but such is the budget that he is working with at Turf Moor. He's gambled on Jutkiewicz and at present, it hasn't worked, although he did provide a good assist against Leicester last time out. He hasn't been helped by injuries suffered to last season's free-scoring Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, which has heaped on extra pressure.

Rating: 4/10


3. Diego Costa, Chelsea

Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on August 23, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Atletico Madrid (£32m)
PL appearances: 7 PL goals: 9

More often than not, the team that concedes the least goals will win the title. However, Chelsea were the exception to that rule last season because the 71 goals that they scored was way short of what both Liverpool and Man City managed. Hence the need for Costa, who is proving to be worth every penny of the £32m that was paid for him.

The Spanish international has scored more goals than matches he has featured in - only champions City have kept him out. His haul includes a hat-trick against Swansea and two away at Everton. If he continues that form throughout the season, Chelsea look a sure bet to get their hands on the main prize.

Rating: 10/10


4. Romelu Lukaku, Everton

Everton's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool on September 21, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Chelsea (£28m)
PL appearances: 7 PL goals: 2

On loan at Goodison Park last season, Lukaku fired in 15 goals to help Everton to qualify for the Europa League. He made such an impression on manager Roberto Martinez that he convinced chairman Bill Kenwright to part with a club-record £28m to secure the 21-year-old's services on a permanent basis.

Since then, though, the Belgium international has stuttered. Goals may have been hard to come by, but more worrying has been his performance levels, highlighted by his display against Man United at the weekend. He failed to cause problems to an inexperienced United rearguard that you could not help but feel he would have terrorised last season.

Rating: 4/10


5. Abel Hernandez, Hull City

Abel Hernandez of Hull City scores from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Manchester City at KC Stadium on September 27, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Palermo (£10m)
PL appearances: 4 PL goals: 2

Shane Long may have only scored four goals following his January move from West Bromwich Albion, but his summer switch to Southampton left Hull lacking pace in the final third of the pitch.

Enter Hernandez, who arrived on Humberside with plenty of pressure on his shoulders due to the price tag. To the Uruguayan's credit, he made an instant impression by scoring on his debut against West Ham and then found the net against Man City during what was a lively showing. Of course it's early days, but Hull fans have every right to be excited by the 24-year-old.

Rating: 7/10


6. Leonardo Ulloa, Leicester City

Leonardo Ulloa of Leicester City scores his team's fifth goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on September 21, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Brighton & Hove Albion (£8m)
PL appearances: 7 PL goals: 5

Nigel Pearson has admitted that in his quest for a new centre-forward, he turned to his own players for suggestions. He asked them which centre-forward had caused them the most problems en route to winning the Championship last season and the answer was an empathic one - Ulloa.

Plenty of eyebrows were raised when Leicester forked out £8m for a player that have never kicked a ball in the Premier League, but with seven appearances now under his belt, it seems that it could be money well spent. The Argentine is the type of striker that comes to life in the penalty area - a quality that could be the difference between the Foxes retaining their Premier League status and being relegated.

Rating: 8/10


7. Mario Balotelli, Liverpool

Mario Balotelli of Liverpool heads the ball under pressure from Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul of Spurs during the Barclays Premier League match on August 31, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: AC Milan (£16m)
PL appearances: 5 PL goals: 0

It's probably a little harsh to describe Liverpool as a one-man team last season, but Luis Suarez's departure to Barcelona has hit them mightily hard. Replacing him like for like was an impossible task, but the question is has Brendan Rodgers taken too much of risk by recruiting Balotelli?

The fee was a relatively cheap one in today's market, yet right now it seems that the Italian does not marry with Rodgers's philosophy. For all the quality that Suarez possessed with the ball at his feet, he also harassed defenders into making mistakes, which set the example for his teammates. Balotelli is never going to match that level of workrate and as Rodgers recently conceded, he must improve his goals return. There is still plenty of time for 24-year-old to alter his fortunes, but the knives are already being sharpened.

Rating: 4/10


8. Radamel Falcao, Manchester United

Radamel Falcao of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Everton at Old Trafford on October 5, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Monaco (loan)
PL appearances: 4 PL goals: 1

Plenty of Man United fans were disappointed to see homegrown Welbeck head for North London, but the blow was softened somewhat by the season-long loan arrival of Colombian hotshot Falcao. He'd only recently recovered from a cruciate ligament injury, but had showed with Monaco during the opening weeks of the new Ligue 1 campaign that he had not lost his clinical touch.

Coming on as a substitute against QPR, he saw one attempt stopped by Rob Green, before failing to score against Leicester and West Ham. Yet, during those games, he did set up goals for his strike partner Robin van Persie to round off lively showings. His first goal arrived at the weekend against Everton and the 28-year-old has since spoken of his relief at having broken his duck, with the promise of more goals to follow. With his track record, you wouldn't back against Falcao delivering on that pledge.

Rating: 6/10


9. Graziano Pelle, Southampton

Graziano Pelle of Southampton celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium on September 13, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Feyenoord (£8m)
PL appearances: 7 PL goals: 4

Among a number of key players to depart the St Mary's Stadium during the summer was Rickie Lambert, who had scored 28 goals for the Saints during their two seasons back in the Premier League. Ronald Koeman may have signed Long for bigger money, but Pelle was the more intriguing addition.

He arrived from Feyenoord having scored 55 goals in 66 outings, but as the likes of Mateja Kezman and Alfonso Alves can testify, the Premier League is a completely different animal compared to the Eredivisie. Nevertheless, so far the 29-year-old has adapted well to his new surroundings, with one goal in particular - scored against QPR - a major highlight. It will take some effort to prevent that acrobatic strike being named the Goal of the Season come May.

Rating: 7/10


10. Diafra Sakho, West Ham United

West Ham United's Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho scores their second goal as Queens Park Rangers' English goalkeeper Robert Green (R) looks on during the English Premier League football match on October 5, 2014© Getty Images

Signed from: Metz (£4m)
PL appearances: 5 PL goals: 4

One of the conditions to Sam Allardyce keeping his job as West Ham manager during the summer was that he had promised that the team would play a more attractive brand of football. Even so, there were those that remained sceptical as to whether Allardyce would completely move away from the long ball tactics.

To be fair to the boss, so far, he has been true to his word. Enner Valencia has impressed, but the Ecuadorian has been overshadowed by Sakho. There was not too much known about the 24-year-old before he arrived on English shores, but opposition teams will already be taking note. He's made four starts this term and has scored every time. Not just a scorer of goals, though, Sakho has also shown that he is willing to close down defenders and run the channels.

Rating: 7/10


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Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Aston Villa at Villa Park on October 4, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City32235467234474
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd31189461342763
3Leicester CityLeicester31175955371856
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham31167851391255
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15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton31712123338-533
16Burnley3189142542-1733
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3188153251-1932
18Fulham32511162442-1826
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3159172859-3124
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3142251755-3814

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