Sullivan stated exactly what the Hammers were looking for this month:
“We are looking, long-term, for a 20-goal-a-season striker,” said the West Ham co-owner.
“There’s a possibility that a striker will come in on loan, with the option to buy, within the next seven days. He’s an overseas striker.
“If I told you, you wouldn’t believe it. I can’t tell you which league because then you’ll know exactly who it is.
“We are signing from a very strange league. But he has played in higher leagues.”
The two strikers that fit the bill are Andre Pierre Gignac and Demba Ba, currently plying their trades in Mexico and China respectively. Gignac, who plays for Mexican side Tigres UANL in Liga MX, most recently played for Marseille in France and was Dimitri Payet’s teammate last season.
In 2014-15, Gignac helped himself to 21 league goals, forming an excellent partnership with Payet as the striker adopted a lone striker role for the French club.
Gignac has spent most of his career playing in France and the fact that he has not played in the Premier League could be a bit of an issue for the Hammers. Despite this, the 30-year-old is a proven goalscorer and currently has 10 league goals in 14 league appearances in Mexico this season.
Without Sakho, the Hammers have struggled to find a striker that makes West Ham tick in his absence. Gignac could rekindle the partnership with Dimitri Payet but it could take time to adapt. If West Ham want more of a quick fix, Demba Ba could be the better option.
The former Hammer currently plays for Chinese club Shanghai Shenua and has scored six goals in eleven appearances since he joined from Besiktas this summer. The striker previously worked with Bilic at the Turkish club and the Croat is a big fan of the forward. Still only 30-years-old, Ba’s West Ham career was cut short as the Hammers were relegated from the Premier League in 2011.
Ba scored 18 league goals in 29 appearances last season and he would have no issues adapting to the lone striker role that Bilic seems to prefer at West Ham. A born finisher who is good both in the air and with his feet, Ba could be an excellent signing for West Ham if Sullivan and co can negotiate a return to East London for the Senegalese striker.
If West Ham pull off a deal for either of these strikers this month, it would put Bilic’s team in a good position for the rest of the season as options up front have been lacking in recent weeks.