Football News

Ledley King tells Tottenham the three strikers they should go for this summer

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:00, 10 June 2024

Former Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King has named three strikers he would like the club to target this summer.

Ange Postecoglou’s side scored 74 goals in the 2023/24 Premier League, the seventh-most in the top flight and the lowest of the top seven. It was their first season without Harry Kane, who signed for Bayern Munich last summer.

In his final Premier League campaign for Tottenham, Kane scored 30 goals, 42.9% of the club’s total tally (70). Second to Kane at Tottenham in 2022/23 was Son Heung-min with a measly 10, and the South Korean led the way last season.

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The main attacking force of the team, as Tottenham didn’t provide Postecoglou with an actual striker, Son scored 17 goals in 35 Premier League games in 2023/24. He was joined on double figures at Tottenham by Richarlison, whose 11 goals came at an average of 0.66 per 90 minutes.

Son’s 17 goals came from 85 shots, 40 on target, and he also scored 12 big chances. It was enough to put Son in the top 10 in the Premier League for goals, though he was 10 goals behind Golden Boot winner Erling Haaland.

It also made Son Tottenham’s lowest-scoring top scorer since 2018/19 when Kane also scored 17 goals in the Premier League. They last had a lower scoring top scorer in 2013/14 when Emmanuel Adebayor netted 11 goals.

Of course, the low-scoring season was made to look worse when looking across Europe to see Kane scoring 36 goals in his maiden Bundesliga campaign.

And King is of the belief that Tottenham do need to bolster their attack this summer.

“I still think that we need a centre forward,” King told talkSport.

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“It’s difficult to find out who. Finding a top, top striker is at a premium.

“I really like [Alexander] Isak at Newcastle but that’s probably not going to happen.

“I like [Dominic] Solanke at Bournemouth, Evan Ferguson at Brighton. Solanke’s had a good season. I’d like to see us get an out-and-out striker.”

Isak was the third-top scorer in the Premier League last season, netting 21 goals in total. Only Haaland (27) and Cole Palmer (22) netted more goals than the Swede, who scored 19 big chances — only Halaand (21) scored more of those.

Solanke was two goals back in the list on 19 goals, but it was only Isak, Palmer and Haaland above him. But of those two, Isak comes out on top in all the top striker metrics. He netted more goals per 90 minutes, had more shots, more shots on target and had a better conversion rate. Isak also scored four winning goals, one more than Solanke and one fewer than Son.

Ferguson’s campaign was cut short due to injury, ending the season with six goals from 1,364 minutes. But the Irishman is a teenager backed to have a big future.

King also hypothesised that improvements up front would help Tottenham at the back, sharing the load. Tottenham kept just seven clean sheets in the Premier League in 2023/24, with only seven teams recording fewer shutouts. They were also in the bottom half for Expected Goals on Target Conceded, at 60.73.

“We conceded a lot of goals but if we improve going forward then that takes the load off the defenders,” he added.

“If the manager wants to play an attacking style of football it’s as simple as that. The full-backs are inside the pitch and of course that’s going to create space for the opposition, but you have to create in your style.

“The more we can strengthen our squad to play in the manager’s style of football in terms of being on the front foot that will see us concede fewer goals.”