Tuesday, March 28, 2023

West Ham United’s First Bid Of £22m For La Liga Forward Rejected: Should Bilic Go For Another Bid?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

West Ham United have yet again started chasing unrealistic targets in the transfer market as they did in the previous summer and they will hope not to make similar mistakes this time around. The Hammers have reportedly had a club record bid turned down by La Liga side Villarreal for their star striker Cedric Bakambu. West Ham reportedly tabled a bid in the region of 25million euros (£22million) for the Congo international but the Spanish side has downright rejected it.

Although that Hammers had also made a bid for Bundesliga side Cologne striker Anthony Modeste with a similar amount, the third highest Bundesliga scorer is expected to be well out of their reach owing to numerous other high-profile suitors. The Hammers finished 11th in the League table last season following one of their most frustrating seasons in top-flight football recently.

Finding no better striker than an on-loan Simone Zaza, Slaven Bilic started his European campaign in the worst way possible. The Italian helped them little in regaining the momentum and was finally sold to a La Liga club in winter. Further injuries to Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho worsened the situation for the Croatian boss, and West Ham were struggling close to the relegation zone before they knew it.

If it was not for the heroics of Michail Antonio midseason, the Hammers could have gone on to some nervy ending few weeks of the season. In Bakambu, Bilic would get a strong striker who could break his way into opponent’s defences with his agile movements and combative approach.

Although not as productive as Modeste in front of the goal, Bakambu is definitely a brilliant option to have up front. Born in Ivry, France, the striker has scored 22 goals for Villareal and is known for his quick movements and nose for the ball. At 25, he is starting to hit his peak and could be a long-term option for the Hammers in the centre-forward role.

West Ham United co-chairman David Gold has gone public in stating his intentions of bringing in quality forwards to the London Stadium, which makes West Ham’s chances of making an improved bid for Bakambu all the more possible. Bakambu played lesser games last season than his previous one, owing to an early hamstring injury, which kept him out for 47 days forcing him to miss 10 games.

But, he was back to his best as soon as returning and scored 10 league goals in 26 games. An academy product of second-tier side FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, his move Villarreal was interrupted by a brief stint with Turkish side Bursaspor. But he is now experienced at the highest level and looks the right fit for West Ham United.

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