Will Uche’s absence and Vale’s lack of goals give Hooper a chance?

OVF Editor Rob Fielding wonders how the Valiants will cope in the absence of top-scorer Uche Ikpeazu.

Rob Fielding writes…

It’s been a common comment this season that “we concede too many at one end and don’t score enough at the other.”

From a statistical standpoint, Vale’s forward-line doesn’t make very happy reading…

In the absence of six goal top-scorer Uche Ikpeazu, who is now suspended following his red card against Burton, the lack of goals in Vale’s team is going to be even more apparent.

In fact, central midfield (arguably Vale’s strongest area) boasts a greater goalthreat with Sam Foley and Anthony Grant sharing five goals between them. From a statistical standpoint, Vale’s forward-line doesn’t make very happy reading.

In consideration…

The potential replacement for Ikepazu:

• Colin Daniel 7+8 games – 2 goals
• Louis Dodds 14+4 games – 2 goals
• AJ Leitch-Smith 3+11 games – 0 goals
• JJ Hooper 0+2 games – 0 goals
• Achille Campion (not under consideration according to Page and available for a loan move)

The only brightside for Vale was the appearance of sub JJ Hooper for his Vale league debut.

Following the game, Ryan McGivern told the Sentinel that Hooper “can be a handful and can score goals, so maybe it is a chance for him.” McGivern could be right – with none of the other forwards in any sort of goalscoring form, perhaps it is time to give Hooper his big chance?

Arguably Hooper is the most “like-for-like” replacement for Ikpeazu anyhow.  And who knows, if Hooper takes to league football we may look back on this “crisis” as a moment that actually did the club a favour…

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