Cardiff City are facing a crucial summer transfer window as they aim to try and build a squad capable of reaching the top-six in the Championship next season.
Mick McCarthy will be keen to make the right additions to his squad this summer to give the Bluebirds the chance to be more consistent in their form. One area that he could be looking to address is in the final third and Cardiff could need to bring in another striker to help provide some competition for places and backup to Kieffer Moore upfront.
In terms of potential options for Cardiff to bring in upfront, the Bluebirds are already being strongly linked with a possible swoop for Luton Town forward James Collins.
The Republic of Ireland international is a player that is also attracting the attention of the likes of Middlesbrough and Bristol City. While previous reports have suggested that Derby County and Preston are also keen on him.
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It is now being reported that Cardiff might have one the race for the forward’s signature this summer. There are a lot reasons why they would want to bring him into the club, not least because his existing deal with Luton is coming to an end he is available on a free transfer.
However, taking a look into his numbers from this season, via Whoscored.com, it is also easy to see why the forward’s availability has got Cardiff and a lot of other clubs interested.
In terms of his general goal scoring the forward managed to fire in ten league goals in his 42 appearances and managed 13 in all competitions. That means he scored a goal every 214 minutes this term.
Collins also managed to average 1.6 shots per game for the Hatters this season in the Championship. That does suggest that he will manage to get himself at least one or two chances in front of goal per game that he plays.
The Luton striker also had a 23% goal conversion rate with his shots (BBC Sport), and that is the exact same goal conversion rate posted by Moore this term. Therefore, if Cardiff made enough chances for him he would find the back of the net on a regular basis it seems
The 30-year-old’s linkup play with his teammates was efficient enough this season, with him having averaged 0.5 key passes per game and also recorded a 69% passing accuracy. That compares well with Moore, who managed to also average 0.5 key passes per game but had just a 50.3% passing accuracy (Whoscored.com).
While Collins was also able to average 16.3 passes per match for the Hatters in the Championship and won 2.6 aerial duels per match. That suggests he can be a useful option to hold the ball up and bring his teammates into the game.
In terms of his defensive contributions, Collins was able to average 0.5 tackles and 1.2 clearances per game in the Championship for Luton. Those are similar numbers to what Moore was producing for the Bluebirds in the league this term as well.
From this analysis of Collins’ stats from this season, it is clear that he could offer a lot of extra quality to the Bluebirds’ forward options. He is a player that can link the play up well at times, but he could improve this aspect of his game having only managed two assists this term.
He seems to be able to get off a decent enough number of shots per game, but that could be increased if he is given better service into the penalty area. The forward’s goal conversion rate is not too bad and allows him to reach the ten to 15 goal mark most seasons. However, that is something that he could improve on the training ground to become an even greater threat.