There’s nothing like a bargain in the January sales to balm the soul as Santa Claus and Michael Buble return to hibernation for another 11 months.
As Christmas disappears over the horizon, leaving the population of Great Britain with black nights and blue souls, a spot of retail therapy can often tide us over until the beginning of spring.
Premier League clubs are no different. Nothing pacifies supporters in 2023 quite like incoming transfers, either demonstrators of ambition or patching up that’s a squad that’s been battered by results and regrettable injuries.
In an increasingly inflated market, value for money has become increasingly rare. But Serhou Guirassy might just be the exception.
Guirassy has been in scorching form this season since permanently moving to Stuttgart in the summer and has 15 Bundesliga goals in 10 appearances. Only Harry Kane, who we’re increasingly convinced isn’t human, has scored more.
The 27-year-old has also broken Robert Lewandowski’s record by managing 11 goals in his first seven matches. And, to the best of our knowledge, hasn’t been eating dessert first for his entire life like the vanquished Pole either.
“Serhou’s scoring rate is pure psycho,” team-mate Deniz Undav said in disbelief in September. “He’s ice cold in front of goal and just enjoys himself.”
The Guinea international is available for a cut-price £15million because of a release clause included in his contract when he joined the German club from Rennes.
It is understood United have made contact with his agents to sound out a potential move after the club’s travails in front of goal.
Marcus Rashford has struggled to replicate his form from last season while Rasmus Hojlund, despite being prolific in Europe, hasn’t scored in the Premier League. Damningly, Anthony Martial is still being used on a semi-regular basis.
Whether Guirassy’s form is a particularly purple patch or the sign of a late bloomer ready for a move to one of Europe’s most high-profile clubs is uncertain.
But Erik ten Hag is a huge fan of the striker and a cursory glance at his goals this season explains why. Whether they be bullet headers, delicate chips or unstoppable shots with either foot, the Stuttgart man has everything in his locker.
1. Serhou Guirassy
Guirassy already has 15 league goals this campaign, including two hat-tricks.
The 27-year-old only joined Stuttgart on a permanent basis this summer, with his new deal having a €20 million release clause – an absolute bargain.pic.twitter.com/dpHsJ48MR1
— Ethan Lamb (@ethanlamb01) November 29, 2023
Guirassy is also understood to be on Newcastle’s shortlist in January as Eddie Howe looks to strengthen his attacking options and West Ham, Fulham, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth have been linked in the past.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian last month, the Stuttgart striker said he would love to play in the Premier League but did not rule out staying in Germany until the end of the season.
“I cannot hide these things – everyone knows the Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in the world,” he said.
“But at this time I don’t close any doors. There are some very big teams in Europe and it’s not focused only on the Premier League. At Stuttgart, we have such a good team and everything is possible in football.
“If we can continue to be humble like we have been so far then we have a good chance.”
Combine his goal record with his buy-out clause and there’s little prospect of Guirassy staying at Stuttgart beyond January.
United need goals if they wish to qualify for next season’s Champions League and a move for the Guinea international seems a no-brainer for a club wishing to find better value in the market.
A spot of retail therapy could lift the gloom at Old Trafford, even if reality indicates this season hasn’t been as catastrophic as it has often appeared. And Guirassy would represent the perfect bargain.
By Michael Lee