Viktor Gyokeres Player Profile: Sporting CP Edge Closer To £20m Coventry Deal

Sporting are hopeful of completing a deal by the end of the week
10:34, 04 Jul 2023

Viktor Gyokeres is one of the most feared strikers in English football, and now he looks set to leave Coventry City with just a year remaining on his current contract. Sporting CP are at the front of the queue to sign the 25-year-old, and if they pull it off for a fee in the region of £20m later this week, they will have got themselves a gem. 

No player in the Championship got more praise from the opposition managers last season. No forward caused such headaches for them to try and solve. And there’s a good reason why. 

He’s an impossible handful for defenders. Strong. Quick. An incredible progresser of the ball. The Swedish international has made some of the best centre-backs in the league look silly and even though he is worth his weight in gold across the whole of the pitch, he ended with 21 Championship goals to his name. Only Middlesbrough's Chuba Akpom scored more. 


He posted 33 goal involvements in total, a number that no other player could get close to, and this was in a team that was far from stable. They may have eventually reached the play-off final, but Coventry were rooted to the bottom of the Championship for the first couple of months of the season following pitch issues after the Commonwealth Games.

Gyokeres was one of the key driving forces behind that turnaround, and now he is ready to show what he can do in Europe. But it feels like Premier League clubs are missing out, given that the statistics prove what the eye test tells you. 

Judging him in comparison to the ‘next eight leagues’ - the eight best divisions outside the big five in Europe, he comes out with flying colours. He’s in the 99th percentile (top 1%) for progressive carries and progressive passes received, which measures how far he takes his team up the pitch, and in the 97th percentile for shot creating actions and dribbles completed. 

The rarity of having a 6ft 2in forward that is both so strong and so powerful, while being an adept dribbler makes him such a unique talent. For Coventry he is simply irreplaceable, which is why they have put a sizeable price tag on his head. With just 12 months to go on his current deal, it does look like the Sky Blues will have to let him go this summer, or risk losing him on a free next season, as Blackburn Rovers did with Ben Brereton Diaz.

One of Gyokeres’ former teammates now at Rovers, Dom Hyam, told The Sportsman just how good the big Swede really is. 

“I don't think he's got a ceiling to be honest,” he said on our visit to Blackburn’s training ground. “I think he's so good at what he does, his attributes are so rare as well. Obviously strikers have their qualities, but there's nothing he's bad at. He's good in the box, he's tall, he's big, he's strong, he's technically good as well. I think as long as he keeps grounded, which I know he will, I know him personally, yeah, I think he's got a massive career ahead of him.”

Coventry’s new owner Doug King has been determined to get the price he feels Gyokeres is worth, £20m, despite pressure from the player’s agent to accept Sporting’s bid. However, a deal is now getting closer, and it looks as if they likes of West Ham United, Fulham and Everton, all of whom have been keeping tabs on the player, will miss out.

It feels like a missed opportunity for those teams as he is tailor-made for the Premier League. His skillset makes him a sure thing. The elite defenders are a step up from those in the Championship, but he will still be quicker and stronger than most in the bottom half. The only thing that is preventing him from being world class is his finishing.

He scored 21 goals from an xG of 21.53 last season, which means he is slightly under-performing, and Coventry fans will tell you he can be wasteful at times; usually failing to spot a pass when a teammate is in a better position. That said, it’s the only slight failing of a simply phenomenal striker. 

At his age, he is only going to get better as he emerges as a key figure for Sweden, and Coventry are set to turn a huge profit on a player they paid just £1m for in 2021. Brighton must be kicking themselves for letting him slip through their fingers, but their loss has been the Sky Blues’ gain. 

If Sporting CP can find the money, they will bag themselves one hell of a player. 

*18+ | Be Gamble Aware

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.