West Ham United confirmed today the loan signing of promising Argentine forward Jonathan Calleri.
The transfer could signal the end of West Ham’s hunt for strikers as the Hammers are looking increasingly unlikely to sign Carlos Bacca from AC Milan.
With Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew and Diafra Sakho, West Ham have a number of proven Premier League goal scorers in their squad ahead of the new season. This allows Bilic to take a gamble on raw talent in the form of Calleri.
So what type of striker are the Hammers getting?
Argentina are not short of world-class strikers and Calleri has been making headlines in his homeland due to his promising ability. The forward is blessed with an excellent technical understanding and his movement in the box is agile, clever and ultimately effective.
He is no slouch either. Calleri often likes to run the channels to create space, a playing style that Diafra Sakho has used well in his time at the club. He is a quick attacker that can certainly run in behind defenders as well as creating space for the wealth of attacking midfielders West Ham will have at their disposal this season.
A good finisher, Calleri has a solid goal scoring record in his senior career so far. In Sao Paulo’s current season, he bagged three goals in four starts before joining Argentina at the Olympic games. He has scored 39 senior goals in his senior career and bagged 18 goals in all competitions for Boca Juniors last summer.
Although the player is not small, it will be difficult to use the striker as a target man and playing to him in this manner will not get the best out of him. In a way, this is good news as it gives the Hammers a second option. Bilic has one excellent target man in Andy Carroll and the side needs a player like Calleri to offer that balance in attack.
The Argentine is by no means the finished article but the club will be hoping that the striker can adapt to the Premier League in the same manner as fellow countryman Manuel Lanzini.
All in all, West Ham are getting a natural goal scorer who is in an excellent finisher inside the box. His movement is sharp and intelligent and it will be intriguing to see how he can transfer his game from South America to the Premier League.
David Sullivan does not have the best record when buying from this continent but Calleri arrives with huge potential. He has been hailed as the new Higuain in his home land, let’s see if the prodigy can deliver in the next step of his career.