USA striker Jozy Alitdore has been unimpressive during his first half of the season in the English Premier League at Sunderland. The American, who arrived from AZ Akmaar in the summer, gave some hope for USMNT fans that they might have a forward who can compete against the very best defenders and become a talisman at long last.
However, his move to one of Europe’s top Leagues has seen a rather quiet and bland spell. The New Jersey-born 24-year-old has scored just one EPL goal in 18 games. That is a very poor record for a player who has looked extremely average with the other aspects of his game.
The worry for Alitdore is that his lack of goal scoring means he is dropping down the pecking order of forwards at Sunderland. Manager Gus Poyet has recently preferred to start Steven Fletcher and Fabio Borini, while Adam Johnson is looking to be back to his best. Although Altidore will still get game time before this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, there is a chance we will see him spend the majority of the next five months on the Sunderland bench.
Perhaps there is a positive twist to that from a USMNT perspective as he may well be fresher as a result for the World Cup. However, it is a disappointment as Alitdore has and is simply looking below average in the EPL.
He has a lot to improve on, but the feeling and from those watching in the UK is that Altidore is nothing to get excited about. The hope is that at 24, he is still in the perfect League to further his game; and of course, it is only his first season in the EPL, a small time to adjust.