Strikers are perhaps the most revered of all the candidates for our greatest team. Traditionally, it will be these guys who will plunder the goals that win you leagues, cups and awards, the only difficult thing is trying to pick two from the list. So much so that we put Bakayoko in the attacking midfielders and poor old Mjelde didn’t even make the list. He wasn’t the only one.
We’re looking for two from the below candidates:
As with most of the Man Utd youngsters, they are loaded with potential and with a sprinkling of game time, that potential can be unlocked.
Man Utd aren’t short of options or money, so good old Erik the Nev is usually available at the end of the first season. If you’re lucky, you might be able to loan him during the first season but they usually keep him around because Scholes, Cole, Sheringham and Solskjaer just isn’t enough. You’ll get yourself a top striker for about £1m and he basically guarantees goals. Just take a look…
Is it enough to secure your vote?
Perez Munoz Alfonso
The most expensive player on the game is Perez Munoz Alfonso of Real Betis. Everything was expected of this kid and he did get his move to Barcelona, but it didn’t really take off for him.
In game he usually moves to Barcelona or Real Madrid in the first season – Betis have a great team that features throughout the nominations here – where he will continue to score goals for fun. Not one for those on a budget but if you want the best, you have to pay for them.
Let me introduce you to 8th place – Porto’s finest.
Jardel is popular because he is a goal machine. That much is obvious. But he’s also usually available at the end of the first season if his contract expires and as Matt Porter showed, he’ll even sign for Stockport. You can’t get vexed at that.
Everybody’s favourite freebie. Released by Man Utd at the end of 96/97, their loss is your gain!
If you’re in a lower league save, Tomlinson is your man. Keeping hold of him is often another matter but he will go on to play for England is he is getting regular game time, as you can see here:
Good old GT can do a job at just about any level. As he’s free he is typically a lower league signing but as we saw in some of the blog saves he can do a job certainly at First Division level and he was excellent in the Scottish Premiership. Will that be enough to secure your vote?
Another lower league legend, Mainwaring can be found in Non-League for just £5k.
He will be available regardless of who you are as he’s effectively out of contract and whether you pair him with Tomlinson or just add him to your squad, he’s capable of going to the very top. The problem usually comes for him when he moves on for his first big move and can’t get regular game time. The story goes that Mainwaring was rattling in the goals at Newport and it was expected he would get a move so was included in the database. For whatever reason, it never transpired, but he’s been a hero for so many of us.
I didn’t want to include too many genuinely world class players but Ronaldo is an exception. For me, Ronaldo was the best player in the world at this time, but had just joined Inter Milan from Barcelona.
This is before Ronaldo got his serious injury and before his World Cup 98 performances and I remember being so excited to be able to see Ronaldo on Channel 4’s Serie A coverage. I always wanted to sign Ronaldo on this game and when it was apparent I wouldn’t be able to do it for Newcastle, I had many games as Inter Milan. He might not be a CM icon in the way some others have cult status but I associate him with the game more than most others.
Back to the bargain bin and Sean Devine of Barnet will set you back £1m or so.
You may recall way back on the first ever blog save I signed Devine for Wimbledon. He was reasonably good. He went on to be player-manager of Liverpool which was quite surreal. He was also amazing for Aberdeen before he left for Rangers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him stay at Barnet, he usually goes on to play at First Division level or higher whilst playing for Ireland for many years.
Some people call Youngs the budget Alfonso. Those people would be correct.
Like a lot of the Cambridge squad, their development seems somewhat random. If they get regular game time they will get moves to the Premier League but a bit like Mainwaring, sometimes their big move comes too soon. With Trevor Benjamin, Jamie Barnwell-Edinboro and others for company, Cambridge can be quite a force in Division 3 but they can’t defend. That’s by the by though. Youngs is a typical purchase for a side in Division 1 who can take advantage of his big club release clause and nurture him to realise his potential.
Remember, we need you to select two when you vote!
You can view all of the Greatest Team nominations here