West Ham United’s elusive search for a striker continues as they near the January transfer window. The Hammers botched things up in the summer after going after the likes of Alexandre Lacazette with humungous bids but repeatedly got knocked back by the club and the player. Their lack of European football was cited as the main reason and it prevented them from taking the next step as far as the transfer window was concerned.
It has been a helluva ride for them since. Not that it means it was in any manner profitable for them. After a summer of nitpicking, they ended up with the £20m signing of Swansea City striker Andre Ayew. But injuries to Ayew and Creswell set them back right at the start and it has been a bumpy ride since.
The London side has already seen their hands being burnt twice with the signings of Calleri and Simone Zaza. Both the players failed miserably to settle and the Hammers spent invaluable time in trying to find a balance with them in the team. The two players will have been offloaded and with Andy Carroll and Andre Ayew back from injury the situation has become less volatile now.
West Ham have hit back in the last couple of weeks and have picked up 10 points from 12 possible. It is an excellent return considering their form and standing in the table. Although Hull and Swansea City are hardly the benchmarks to test ones standing, they would have taken any point available.
Slaven Bilic has probably learnt the pitfalls of having a foreign player come into the squad and fail to adjust to the insane demands of the Premier League. And the hard manner in which he learnt the lesson will probably see him look closer to find a solution up front.’
Carroll’s iffy injury record and Ayew not being an out and out striker sees them continue on their quest to find a striker who can slot in when required. And if latest reports are to be believed, they have identified Brentford’s star striker Scott Hogan as their primary target. The player is in demand and is supposedly being scouted by a handful of Premier League clubs.
He isn’t the tallest player around but has enough physicality to unsettle the big boys at the back. His movement off the ball is very intelligent – he’s actually quite sneaky in the way he makes runs to unsettle and confuse defenders. He looks to make runs beyond the defence rather than holding up play which will act as a perfect foil to Andy Carroll. He is an excellent finisher and has all the traits of an intelligent striker with the most important being the ability to be at the right place, at the right time.
He has scored 13 goals already and in the intense scrutiny of potential suitors, Brentford have slapped a hefty £15m price tag on the player. Although he has 18 months remaining on his contract, the club believe he warrants the amount.
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