The managerial practice of raiding one’s former club looks set to strike again at Upton Park, as new West Ham United manager Avram Grant prepares to make a move for French forward Frederic Piquionne. Piquionne, who played under Grant on loan at Portsmouth last season, is thought to be close to a move to East London. The New Caledonia-born forward, who is currently contracted to French side Lyon, impressed during his time on the south coast last season and caught the attention of a string of English clubs. The Hammers are rumoured to have fought off strong interest from both Fulham and newly-promoted West Brom, but is he a good signing for the Upton Park side?
The departures of Guillermo Franco and Ilan, coupled with the patchy form of Carlton Cole, Alessandro Diamanti and Benni McCarthy, clearly highlight West Ham’s need for more firepower. Frederic Piquionne may help to alleviate this concern. The 31-year-old managed to rack up a respectable 11 goals for relegated Portsmouth last season, a credible feat for someone playing in such a weak, struggling side. This tally included strikes against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, thus demonstrating his ability to competently perform at Premier League level.
In addition to this, Piquionne frequently demonstrated his power and pace at Fratton Park last season, virtues that one would not associate with some of West Ham’s current forwards. The tall forward is also left-footed, and would help to provide balance up front with first-choice striker Carlton Cole. Piquionne alternated between featuring as a lone-striker and as part of a strike partnership last season, and will help to bolster West Ham’s range of attacking options.
Whilst Piquionne may not be the glamorous, ambitious signing that the club’s fans crave, he may prove to be a shrewd acquisition for the side. Having spent the best part of a year working with him, Avram Grant will be fully aware of Piquionne’s abilities and attitude, and should be able to coax the best out of the 31-year-old. Although Piquionne’s record in France is less than prolific, he has clearly shown his talent within the Premier League. With a fee for the forward mooted to be just over €1million, Piquionne could turn out to be the bargain of the summer.
Are you excited by the prospect of Piquionne teaming up with Carlton Cole?
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