With Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all looking light up front – an unusual suspect may well ease the pain.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling is a time bomb waiting to explode.
Kiessling, 25, is the German league leaders’ top goalscorer. Tall, athletic, calm and blessed with an industrious work ethic, the German international has got the lot. He’s so far managed 9 league goals, with the latest coming against Bayern Munich in his side’s 1-1 draw earlier today.
According to those in Germany, this guy has had it for a while now without ever really producing the desired goods. Back in his hometown of Nuremberg, many footballing wise guys felt Kiessling – a teenager back then – was the hottest prospect in Germany, a player who could go as far as he so pleased.
There’s added pressure this time around for Kiessling, however, as Leverkusen are without another German international, the influential Patrick Helmes, who is out injured until the new year. Early signs are good, as Kiessling continues to thrive under the extra responsibility, regularly providing as well as scoring, which has propelled his club to the top of the Bundesliga.
The target man has more than meets the eye. His goldie locks fail to show his exemplary determination, trickery and strength. It quickly becomes apparent just how good Kiessling can become once you see him in action for a full 90 minutes.
With or without the ball, he continues to willingly run anywhere his legs can take him. His intelligence and self awareness allows those runs to be used to maximum potential. If you watch a game for long enough you’ll soon wonder why Kiessling always seems to gain possession in acres of space.
Finishing isn’t a problem either. Aerially, left foot or right, nothing is too daunting for a player who confesses to enjoying celebrating a goal he’s scored more than anything else.
So, come January, with Drogba and Kalou away for Chelsea, Van Persie just returning from a lengthy absence for Arsenal, and United and Liverpool still looking light in the final third, all four may well be keeping a close eye on the availability of a certain Stefan Kiessling.