This is the year of the ageing forward.

Forwards score goals. Goals win games. Winning leads to glory. Forwards also fail to score. A lack of goals can lead to losing. Losing leads to failure. Football is not a simple as that, we all understand that, but we also understand that a player can be a hero or a villain for his goals or lack thereof.

This season though is not about just any goalscorers, this season is about the ageing forwards trying to give their all before the time runs out, trying to make every strike count, this year there are three to look out for.

Robin van Persie is the story of the summer, his 24 million pound move the most hyped purchase so far.

The 29 year-old had a breakout season last year, scoring 30 Premier League goals and dragging Arsenal up the table. He then announced he would not sign a new contract with Arsenal, opting for a move which would lead to silverware. His signing with United has angered many Gunners fans. What will the new season bring for RvP? For many the 24 million move is questionable, van Persie has only had one world-class season, so will he be able to replicate it? The striker has struggled with injury throughout most of his professional career, can he stay fit long enough to finally end his personal trophy drought.

Grant Holt has an incredible footballing story. Five years ago he would’ve laughed at the idea of being a premiership player. After his move to Carrow Road three seasons ago his fortunes changed. Norwich, at that time in League One needed goals and Holt was happy to supply. With a whopping 30 goals in all competitions Holt contributed to the promotion of Norwich, many questioned if Holt would continue to score in the championship, he did. With 23 goals in all competitions Holt was a major contributor to back-to-back promotions. Again people questioned if Holt would continue to score in the Premiership, and again he did, with 15 Premier League goals Holt was a vital member of a team who successfully competed in the toughest league in the world. During the off season there were rumours of a move, Holt even handed in a request to leave, yet at this time it appears he will remain at Norwich this season. At 31 Holt could be on his last legs, will he once more be the hero for the Canaries?

Clint Dempsey has been a sensation for Fulham, the American was always a key player but last season he went a step above. With 23 goals in all competitions the midfielder attracted the attention of many top teams, he stated that at this stage of his career his intention was to play in the Champions League, at Fulham there was little chance of that happening. Similarly to Robin van Persie the player found his breakout seasons at 29 so the question is, can he repeat it? His intention it seemed was to leave, and although there was interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton talks have stagnated. Is there a new home for this ageing goalscorer?

A successful goalscorer in the Premier League will always attract attention, but when the golden year comes late in a career it can be very complex. This season we have three key men to look out for, three men reaching the end of their playing years, trying to make every strike count.

-Bede McKenna

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