Stuttgart can’t have imagined Serhou Guirassy would have had anything close to the season he’s having when they completed a permanent deal for him in June of this year. The Guinea international spent last season on loan in Germany from Stade Rennais, scoring 14 goals and getting 2 assists in 29 games altogether. Serhou Guirassy has already surpassed that this season, scoring 17 goals and getting 2 assists in just 12 games for the German side. It’s an amazing return, but the question has to be: is it likely to be sustainable if a top club takes a punt on him?
Manchester United and Chelsea have taken a liking to Guirassy as the January window draws closer. United are looking for a striker to help the progression of Rasmus Hojlund, and Chelsea are looking for some more options up front to aid Nicolas Jackson. The biggest thing United and Chelsea need to decide before they spend money on the Stuttgart man is whether this is just a purple patch in front of the goal or whether he is as prolific as the evidence from this season suggests.
Serhou Guirassy: Purple Patch or Just That Good?
This season, Serhou Guirassy has destroyed his xG, scoring 16 goals from an xG of 11.40 in the league. That’s an overperformance of 4.60, the biggest in the entire career of the Guinea international since his debut in professional football. This is an xG average that is effectively impossible to keep up for an extended period of time, no matter how good of a footballer you are. To put it into context, Mohamed Salah has only had two seasons in his entire football career in which he over-performed his xG to a higher or similar level to what Guirassy has done this season.
In terms of the rest of Guirassy’s career, he has decent numbers when it comes to finishing. Last season, he scored 11 goals from an xG of 11.96, underperforming by 0.96. The season before, he scored nine goals from an xG of 7.72, an overperformance of 1.28. Overall in his career, Serhou Guirassy has scored 62 goals with an xG of 60.49 and an overperformance of 1.51. They have decent numbers, but when compared to elite strikers, they pale in comparison.
His numbers are, however, better than Chelsea’s and Manchester United’s two current strikers, Rasmus Hojlund and Nicolas Jackson. Both have a very small sample size, but neither is currently finishing to the same level of quality as Serhou Guirassy has across his career. These are the numbers Manchester United and Chelsea have likely identified as something that could help them in certain games going forward.
Worth a try?
Guirassy is available for €17.5 million in the January window, which is a good price for any side looking for a secondary striker. He is not as good as his numbers currently show regularly, but he is a good striker who knows where the goal is and can finish if given the opportunity. The Stuttgart striker has missed around 65 games through injury since the beginning of the 2016–17 season for various clubs. This is not the worst injury record, but he has had repeated problems with his ankle, which may be something any interested clubs will look into.
Serhou Guirassy is a good option for either United or Chelsea, but there are certainly other options the clubs could look into that may suit them better than the Guinean international.
Alternative Striker Options:
Gift Orban is a player United could get for around the same price as Guirassy. The Nigerian overperformed his xG by 4.4 last season for Genk in the Belgian League and currently has 3 goals from an xG of 2.4 this season in the league. Orban has youth on his side at just 21 years old and an incredible goals-per-game ratio across his career so far, with an average of 0.74 goals per game. Guirassy by comparison, only averages 0.35 goals per game across his career.
Akor Adams is currently in his first season in a major European League, but he has taken to the challenge wonderfully. The 23-year-old Nigerian striker signed for Montpellier from Lillestrom in Denmark this summer and is currently the second-highest scorer in Ligue 1 behind Kylian Mbappe with 7 goals, zero of which have been from the spot. Adams is averaging 0.55 goals per 90 this season for Montpellier and has 7 goals from an xG of 5.03. He would be available for around €10–15 million.
Manchester United have had Marcos Leonardo on their radar for some time, and January could be when they decide the time is right to strike. The Santos forward is one of the most highly rated players in the Brazilian League and would give Manchester United an option for years to come if they signed him to compete with Rasmus Hojlund. Jorge Nicola has recently reported that Santos has lowered Leonardo’s release clause to just €18 million to sell him in January. If true, Manchester United will be more than aware.
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