After eight games, the leading scorers in La Liga are the usual suspects – Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi. However, Carlos Bacca is on the coattails of the Real Madrid star and the Barcelona pair, with the Colombia international maintaining the prolific form he has shown throughout his career and his goals taking Sevilla into second place early in La Liga season.
He may not have taken the World Cup by storm in the manner of James Rodriguez, or have had Europe’s richest clubs chasing his signature over the summer as Radamel Falcao did, but make no mistake: Bacca is the real deal. The 28-year-old would be ranked alongside the game’s most wanted strikers if he played for a more glamorous club than Unai Emery’s Rojiblancos.
Bacca perfectly illustrates Sevilla’s successful transfer policy. Exploiting the historic links between Spain and South America, and under the guidance of transfer guru Monchi, Sevilla routinely turn up gems that have gone undiscovered or under-appreciated by others. While it was once Dani Alves, Julio Baptista and Luis Fabiano, it is now Bacca catching the eye.
Arriving at Sevilla after a year-and-a-half with Club Brugge, Bacca has hit the ground running in the Primera, following 31 goals in 54 games for the Belgians with 27 in 63 for Los Nervionenses. This season he has six in eight league appearances and only a handful of La Liga strikers are performing better than Bacca in EuroFantasyLeague. The fact that only Ronaldo, Neymar and Messi have scored more goals confirms the No.9’s quality.
Bacca recently signed a new contract with Sevilla but their business model is based on buying low and selling high – having paid €7m for him in summer 2012, they could soon cash in for at least three times that amount. He has the size to handle the more rugged Premier League defenders and with a career record of 168 goals in 322 games, there is little reason to believe he could not plunder plenty more in English football.
Falcao dominates the attention where Colombia strikers are concerned and El Tigre, when fully fit, may be one of the greatest exponents of the art around. Bacca deserves to be ranked up there as well. He has been linked with moves to the Premier League – Everton and Arsenal said to have been suitors in the past – and Zenit St. Petersburg are reportedly another interested party. It is inevitable he will leave Sevilla and one club will end up with a lethal finisher.
It took Bacca five games to get off the mark for Sevilla following his move from Brugge. Since he started scoring, he has made a habit of finding the back of the net. He lacks the appeal and wow factor of Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar – or Falcao, for that matter – but not the goals.
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