When the summer transfer window slammed shut, many feared that Cardiff City could be in for a tough season. Championship stars Josh Murphy and Bobby Reid made the jump up to the Premier League with the Bluebirds, but it was suggested that they needed more top-level players.
As we enter the second half of the season, Cardiff currently find themselves perilously close to the relegation zone, and their tally of 19 goals is the third-lowest in the entire league. They need a consistent goalscorer if they are to survive in the Premier League, and Nantes' Emiliano Sala is the man for the job.
In an interview with Sky Sports, manager Neil Warnock confirmed that he flew to France to meet Nantes manager Vahid Halilhodžić, but a deal for Sala is currently uncertain. However, Warnock should do whatever it takes to finalise the deal.
The 28-year-old is one of Ligue 1's most prolific forwards. His 12 goals from 17 matches is a great record, and it is enough to cement his place as one of Europe's most in-form strikers.
When it comes to Sala's style of play, he seems perfect for the Premier League. Whilst certainly not the quickest, Sala is an elite finisher. When the ball drops to his feet, he can score with ease, which makes him perfect for a struggling Premier League side like Cardiff.
They may only get a handful of chances in a game, and they need a reliable option like Sala to take those chances.
Standing at 6'2, Sala possesses the necessary physicality to compete with defenders, and his superb aerial ability also means he can forge chances out of nothing. If all Cardiff can do is heave the ball forwards, somebody like Sala is exactly who they want on the end of the pass.
If there is one Premier League forward who bears a similarity to Sala, it's Brighton and Hove Albion's Glenn Murray. The 35-year-old is certainly not known for his athleticism, but his physicality and finishing abilities have helped him net eight goals this season. The Seagulls are currently ten points clear of the drop zone, and Cardiff would love to be in a similar situation.
It might be costly, and it might be difficult, but Cardiff need a forward like Sala. Premier League survival is at stake, and that is certainly worth the struggle.
Source : 90min