It was easy at the beginning of the season. Khouma Babacar was still working his way back from a minor knock, so Nikola Kalinic was the obvious choice for prima punta. But, once Babacar recovered, things got trickier. Two strikers, both alike in dignity, albeit very different. So, which is the better option?
Nikola Kalinic is the 27 year old Croatian newcomer. Although we were initially skeptical, he won us over against in the opener against AC Milan with his silky touch, intelligent movement, ability to hold up the ball and then lay it off, and uncanny talent for drawing fouls. Although he's yet to score, he's created a number of chances already, from the clinic he delivered against Rodrigo Ely to his gorgeous flick-on to put Jakub Blaczscykowski through against Genoa. Good in the air and with his feet, he seems like an Olivier Giroud clone, although, as he settles in, the goals may start coming.
Khouma Babacar is the local boy made good. Just 22, he's a former Primavera player who made his senior debut aged 17 and showed glimpses of the promise he's starting to fulfill. Although a bit injury-prone, his size, strength, skill, pace, and work rate make him a fun player to watch, bombing down the channels and giving the defense fits. He also scored the decisive in his first action of the season, and has hit some memorable ones in the past. Recently signed to a lengthy extension, he seems like a wonderful dude and someone we all want to excel.
So which one should be first choice? Thankfully, it's a decision for Paulo Sousa, not us. But now, Violanews.com has made his job simpler, too: combine them into Babanic. Take Nikola's hold-up play and tremendous footballing brain and combine it with Babacar's athleticism and shooting, and you'd have a truly world-class striker. Although Babanic's finishing isn't always as lethal as we'd like, so perhaps it's time to bring in Babossinic instead.