The current top scorer in Europe was is not one of the biggest names in club football such as Samuel Eto’o of Barcelona, Luca Toni of Bayern or Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea. Instead the top scorer is a little known Austrian by the name of Marc Janko who has scored a staggering 30 League goals in just 20 appearances (18 starts) this season.
The 25-year-old has spoken of his ‘dream’ of playing in England. With so many clubs needing to bring in more firepower the Salzburg striker was expected to be on a number of teams hit-lists in January. However, his club Director Heinz Hochhauser announced to German newspaper BILD: “We are not prepared to let him leave at this point in time.”
The 6 ft 5 striker has been in simply sensational form this season. Janko has already broken Salzburg’s club record for League goals scored by a single player in a season with over half the campaign yet to play. His Roy of Rovers goal-scoring exploits include 5 hat-tricks already in the Austrian Bundesliga including the opening game of the season as well as 4 goals in a 4-3 win over bottom club Altach in October. Of those 30 strikes only 4 came from the penalty spot.The in-form hitman has openly spoken of his interest in a move to the Premier League.
“When I was about 12 years old, I was watching an English game on the television,” he told The Daily Mail.
“It was West Ham against Watford and everything about the game - the pace, the crowd, the atmosphere - was fantastic.
“I just turned to my father and said, ‘I’m going to play in England’, and now I want to make it happen.”
He added: “People will say the Austrian league is not so strong and, apart from Salzburg, Rapid and Austria Vienna, that may be the case, but you still have to put chances away and my record is comparable with the best.
“Also, France, Italy and Serbia don’t have poor defences and I have scored against them. It shows I can compete against the best.
“I know clubs are interested and I know I can play in England. It may take a little time to adjust to the tempo but I can handle the physical side that everyone talks about.
“I have a strong left foot, I’m good with my right and, as you’d expect at 6ft 5ins, I’m good in the air.
“I just want to get to The Premier League and show what I can do. The club have been good enough to say I can go, but they have to find a replacement soon too, so it’s important all round that something is tied up soon.
“We need to start talking to the clubs.”
Janko began his career with Admira Wacker making 13 League appearances and scoring twice before a move to Salzburg in 2005. Since his move he’s scored an incredible 48 goals in 60 League appearances but only in this campaign has he been a regular starter at the club. His form has also prompted a return to the national side where he possesses a record of 2 goals in 7 appearances. Importantly those goals were scored in the last 4 internationals against Italy in a friendly and Serbia in a World Cup qualifier. His performance this Wednesday against Sweden may well build on the striker’s growing reputation.
The Austrian press has suggested both Celtic and Blackburn made offers in January which is unsurprising as he has the attributes to be a big hit in Britain with his physical size and aerial presence. He certainly seems a Sam Allardyce type of striker with his size and physique and with Roque Santa Cruz consistently linked with a move to Man City it would make sense. However, there are a number of Premier League clubs on the lookout for new strikers and with this player’s current form he may well be ideal. Harry Redknapp has a reputation for picking up bargains and may well make his move particularly as the Austrian has declared Spurs would be his preference. He said, “I definitely want to play in The Premier League. Tottenham are certainly among my favourite clubs.”
Redknapp has been bemoaning the size of his players and has been linked with the likes of Kenwyne Jones and Roman Bednar but the Austrian could be a cheaper alternative. Middlesbrough are also reportedly interested after Mido left the club last month though Everton may also join the chase depending on the performance and availability of Jo in the summer. Salzburg may be facing a struggle to keep their 6 ft 5 talisman if his incredible form continues.
Do you like the look of Marc Janko? Would he be with worth a transfer bid in the summer? Could he be the striker your club needs for the future? Let’s hear your views.