West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

Liverpool star in the frame as West Ham draw up two-man striker shortlist

Divock Origi Liverpool

A report claims one Liverpool player is in West Ham’s sights as David Moyes looks to bring in a new striker during 2022.

Michail Antonio has been the Irons’ first-choice centre-forward for a while now. He has been in great form this campaign, notching six goals and three assists in 11 Premier League appearances.

The Jamaica international was also on the scoresheet during West Ham’s 2-0 Europa League victory over Dinamo Zagreb back in September.

However, he was kept quiet on Saturday as Moyes’ side were beaten 1-0 by Wolves at Molineux. Raul Jimenez bagged the only goal, sweeping a Daniel Podence cross into the bottom corner with 58 minutes gone.

West Ham need a solid backup for Antonio if they are to continue to challenge for a top-six spot and perform well in Europe. A new striker would also allow Moyes to trial a different system when behind in games, such as 4-4-2.

Genk hitman Paul Onuachu was an option, but the 27-year-old didn’t impress during two appearances against West Ham earlier this season.

The Sun report that Hammers chiefs have now drawn up a two-man striker shortlist. Their hopes of a big-money January transfer are boosted by the recent £150m investment from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

The first name on the list is Clermont and Guinea goalscorer Mohamed Bayo. He has been in electric form this term, hitting seven strikes and two assists in 12 Ligue 1 outings. Bayo is on more league goals than Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe as things stand.

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The report claims that West Ham bid £7m for Bayo last year, only for their offer to be pushed back. They are once again in for the 23-year-old and are willing to pay £15m in January.

The alternative is Liverpool forward Divock Origi. Moyes is a fan of the Belgian, even though he is often kept on the bench by Jurgen Klopp.

Origi did feature against West Ham earlier this month and bagged a goal, although the Reds lost 3-2 away from home.

West Ham are wary of beginning talks with Liverpool as the future of Jarrod Bowen could come into question. Klopp is an admirer of the Englishman’s talent and could look to include Origi as part of a deal for him.

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Moyes: ‘Nearly’ day for West Ham against Wolves

After Saturday’s narrow loss to Wolves, Moyes told reporters: “I think Wolves are a good team. I don’t think we were quite at it.

“For the opening 20 minutes we probably had opportunities to maybe get in front, they then got control of the second half of the first half, and actually when the goal came I didn’t think we were that far away from them.

“The game was very close, but that is what they are like in the Premier League. They were just not quite there today to be honest, not quite on it.

“I think there was a bit missing, a couple of players not really at the level they have shown, a couple coming back from illness, the first time we’ve been without Angelo [Ogbonna, after his ACL injury].

“So there’s a few things we could look at, but no excuses. I do think the games in the Premier League, there is very little between the teams. Today was very tight. But we didn’t play as well as we have done.”

West Ham’s next match is against Rapid Wien in the UEL on Thursday at 17:45.

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