A new reason why West Ham are struggling to sign a new striker has been revealed – as well as the number of targets they have held talks with.
West Ham news has been dominated by links with strikers ever since they sold Sebastien Haller to Ajax in January. Haller never justified his club-record price tag during his time with West Ham. However, he has been in much better form for Ajax since the transfer.
It may have left a hint of regret for West Ham, who are still yet to sign a replacement. They went through the rest of the winter window and the entire summer without managing to secure a striker signing.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort, as they were connected with a plethora of options in the market. The wait has gone on, though. It could be over a year before they fill the void left by Haller.
According to the Daily Mail, West Ham held talks with seven different strikers during the summer transfer window. Obviously, though, none of them got over the line.
The Mail now predicts West Ham may face a battle to sign anyone in the upcoming January transfer window either.
The form of Michail Antonio up front has been cited as the key reason why top targets are reluctant to join.
Antonio is the only recognised striker in the West Ham squad at present. He has been their top scorer in each of the past two seasons and has started the current campaign in fine form.
So far this term, the 31-year-old has seven goals from 13 games between the Premier League and Europa League. He has also provided four assists.
West Ham keen on transfer for Marseille centre-back Duje Caleta-Car
West Ham are interested in a transfer for Marseille centre-back Duje Caleta-Car
With that in mind, Antonio is seen as “undroppable”, as per the Mail – even if a new man was to come in.
The report thus claims that striker targets are being put off by Antonio’s fine form as they doubt how much gametime they would get if they joined.
Even so, David Moyes feels a new striker is a necessity in January if they are to continue their push for a top-four finish.
After 11 games of the Premier League season, West Ham are third in the table. They are consequently level on points with last season’s champions Manchester City.
But with European duties to juggle as well as the domestic cup competitions, squad depth will be essential if they can find it.
Pundit explains why West Ham need new striker
West Ham will have to find a way to convince someone to sign up, even if it is just as a backup to Antonio.
Former Premier League striker Ian Wright recently advised them of the importance of getting a new forward.
“They do need to get a striker to help,” he said on Wrighty’s House.
“They do need that, because if he [Antonio] picks up an injury, it’s a different ball game for them.”
Antonio missed 13 games through injuries last season. So it could be an area of concern despite his clean bill of health so far this term.