Which striker could we target in January?

The Swans did some very good business during the off season if you discount the miserly fee we accepted for Joe Rodon.

The majority of the squad has adequate cover and two players for each position, but we do appear to be a striker short of mounting a real promotion push. Andre Ayew has been impressive again so far this term, but Jamal Lowe’s finishing lets him down too often and in truth he’s more a makeshift centre forward than a natural one. Victor Gyokeres hasn’t shown much in limited appearances and Liam Cullen probably needs a loan move to help him become a regular here in the long term.

In just a few weeks the transfer window will open, giving us an opportunity to find that striker who could help push us to the next level, but who could be available?

If Rhian Brewster’s goal drought continues then maybe he could be (we can dream) but his Blades team-mate Billy Sharp could be a realistic target. He’s made four appearances so far this term but none since mid-October. He’s unlikely to feature much as they have plethora of other options and when you consider he scored 23 goals the last time he was in this division in 2018/19 then he has to be worth considering. He has a contract at Bramall Lane until the summer of 2022 and probably wouldn’t be keen on a permanent move, but a loan move would be more likely.

Another player with a proven track record in the second tier who is likely to be available and sought after is Dwight Gayle. He has yet to feature for Newcastle this season and with his contract expiring next summer he will almost certainly be moving on then. In his only two full seasons at this level – 2016/17 and 2018/19 he found the back of the net a total of 46 times so he would be a real asset for someone. If finances allow I would probably make him our number one target, Gayle is a natural finisher and that’s the type of player we’re crying out for. The chances are a few clubs could be sniffing around Gayle and if one in our league could land him it could make all the difference.

Another natural finisher who’s potentially on the market is Charlie Austin. He’s only played twice for West Brom this season, both in the League Cup and his contract runs out next June. He struck ten times last term from limited appearances as his side secured automatic promotion. His exploits in front of goal have never been in doubt, but his fitness record means he would be more of a gamble, and it’s one I would say we’re unlikely to take. If we did it would surely be a loan, but again you’d expect interest from other clubs.

Of course we could go for a youngster as we did with Brewster last term and target someone like Liam Delap from Manchester City. The 17 year old is highly rated by Pep Guardiola, and scored on his first team debut in a League Cup victory over Bournemouth. City have high hopes for the son of former Stoke midfielder Rory, but they may consider allowing him to go out on loan if a good offer comes in so he’s one to watch.

Another hot prospect who could be our radar is Louie Barry at Aston Villa. His youth career has been more interesting than most – he spent a decade at West Brom and then a year at Barcelona before joining the club he supports for a fee of £880,000 in January. His goal scoring record at youth level is impressive with 21 goals in 20 games for England’s youth sides and a loan spell could be on the cards for this promising youngster. If that’s the case then he’s one we should bear in mind.

Southampton’s Michael Obafemi made 25 appearances for the Saints last term, but has made only two so far in 2020/21 so his development is currently being stifled. He found the net four times in 2019/20, with the most high profile one being a last minute equaliser from a corner at Old Trafford to salvage a point close to the end of tlast season. A deal for this player could be more realistic than most, his goal scoring record hasn’t been hugely prolific, but a spell at a Championship club a for a few months could be a positive for his development, his parent club and the club who loaned him.

Steve Cooper will no doubt have a plan in mind for the transfer window as he seeks to cement a promotion push. On the whole he will no doubt be very happy with how things are going, but if he could add a natural finisher to his squad it would give Swansea City a huge lift in the race back to the Premier League.