West Ham’s pursuit of a 20 goal a season striker has been well documented in the media, and Slaven Bilic has all but confirmed that no more strikers will be coming to East London.
Argentinian forward Jonathan Calleri will arrive in London next week on loan from Deportivo Maldonado and he brings an element of flair and skill to West Ham.
Andy Carroll could quite easily be the answer to this elusive ‘20+ goals’ forward if he stays fit, unfortunately that is quite a big if.
No fans have faith in Enner Valencia anymore and the Ecuadorian has struggled to adapt to English football, whilst Diafra Sakho will have to drastically improve his attitude and approach if he is to score goals in a claret and blue shirt again.
Andre Ayew is a fantastic signing and the Ghanaian international will hopefully finish the upcoming campaign with more than the 12 goals he scored last season.
The question is, who will score consistently next season? The 27 year old big man from Newcastle can be the prolific striker many fans want, and having a full pre-season will definitely benefit his health and fitness. However, I don’t think any West Ham fan would be that surprised if tomorrow it was announced that the number 9 was out injured for 3 months.
The uncertainty surrounding Carroll is why fans are frustrated that someone like Carlos Bacca hasn’t arrived at the London Stadium.
Jonathan Calleri could be a hidden gem, although he could also be another flop. David Sullivan doesn’t have the finest record when it comes to buying players from South America, however fans can feel safe in the parameters of a loan deal. The 22 year old has been likened to Gonzalo Higuain, and if he’s anywhere near that calibre, it will have been astute business from the board. Ultimately, Calleri is unlikely to be the prolific forward to drive the team on in the Premier League and in the Europa league, but in the modern game you never know.
Andre Ayew is the club’s record signing and has already stated his ambitions for the inaugural Premier League fixture away to Chelsea. “I want to train hard for the first game, do my job and show that I deserve to play for West Ham United. I want to give back to the manager and the fans .” The 26 year old forward is versatile and can play on either flank, behind the striker or as the striker.
The former Marseille man should hopefully link up well with friend and former teammate, Dimitri Payet. Assuming that the former Swansea player gels quickly with the team, I see no reason why he can’t become a talisman. In the 12 games he played as a striker for Swansea last season, he scored 8 goals.
Diafra Sakho was a fan favourite but has let himself down. It would appear as if he might stay at West Ham, but he will have to improve his fitness and attitude otherwise there is no point him staying. On his day, Sakho is a willing runner who scores goals but like Carroll, his injury record lets him down. Slaven Bilic might also look to Ashley Fletcher and or Toni Martinez in the cup competitions, with both players looking like exciting prospects.
In summary, Bilic said in his press conference this week “”I am happy with my strikers. People forget that last season only three PL teams scored more than us.” That comment is true from the Croatian, however this season it will be as competitive as ever, and most teams have strengthened their squads.
I believe West Ham will have another successful season, especially if Andy Carroll stays fit but if he doesn’t then we’ll have to hope that Ayew, Calleri and others step up. Would I feel more confident with a proven 20 goal a season striker like Bacca? Of course I would, but the squad depth is great and the future is bright in East London.