Back with a bang – The Premier League and Championship campaigns returned this weekend and we were not left disappointed. Goals galore, red cards, penalties, come backs, whatever you are after as a fan of the sport you could see it over the past few days.
The game of the weekend for me was certainly at the Etihad Stadium as new boys Southampton nearly defied all the odds to get a result against the champions, but it wasn’t to be. The game however saw Saints hitman Rickie Lambert, a surprise omission from the starting XI come off the bench and change the game with his goal and all round forward play.
Lambert scored 31 goals in 45 games for Southampton last season to fire them to the Premier League and it looks as though he may continue that form in the top flight. This begs the question, why has nobody made Huddersfield Town’s Jordan Rhodes their number one transfer target? Similar history to Lambert, despite being younger, but both unproven in the top flight.
The Scottish striker scored a staggering 40 goals in 45 games last season as Huddersfield won promotion to the Championship, along with 8 goals in 8 games for Scotland under-21’s, that sort of form surely belongs in the Premier League?
Rhodes also netted 22 and 23 goals in the previous two seasons respectively and his long term form makes him for me, the man to have this summer.
West Ham had two bids rejected in January by the Terriers as they looked to secure their own promotion and Blackburn and Fulham have both apparently shown an interest over the past few weeks. It seems that the lack of top flight experience is putting clubs off but surely you only have to look at the likes of Norwich (Grant Holt) and Swansea (Danny Graham) to completely dismiss that point.
Rhodes is just 22-years-old and has already played 180 Football League games and is just three goals shy of a century in club football. Stunning statistics that surely can’t be exaggerating the pacey forwards ability and his knack of being in the right place at the right time is second to none.
Stepping up to also score on his first international start against Australia last week for Scotland, the standard of international football seemingly comfortable for him too.
If a club like Sunderland are willing to bid north of £12million for Wolves striker Steven Fletcher or West Ham have set aside £18million for Andy Carroll, what on earth are they doing?
It must all come back to that word experience. The fact he hasn’t played at a higher level. I would put my house on Rhodes scoring more goals in any division that Andy Carroll. Yes the defending is supposed to be better in the Premier League and the pace of the game slightly faster, but the goals are the same size and Rhodes certainly knows where they are.
Huddersfield’s asking price may be seen to be a little high, but if everything goes to plan Rhodes will be worth a lot more than the quoted £7million in a few years’ time.
Perhaps some will wait and see how he gets on in this season in the Championship and also wait for his contract to slowly run down to lower the asking price, but if any clubs end up in the bottom half of the Premier League regret not scoring enough goals this season, it’s their own fault.
Where should Jordan Rhodes go if he should leave at all?
Let me know on Twitter: @Brad_Pinard