West Ham need a top striker.
It’s the worst kept secret in football and yet the Hammers are having trouble landing the marquee name that they want.
The European Championship and the Copa America haven’t helped, as by now you would imagine that most clubs would have recruited more players than they have. Especially with pre-season almost upon us.
West Ham have chased the same two strikers for most of the summer and appear to be hitting brick walls. The transfer of Michy Batshuayi appears to be mind games, as we now all know that Chelsea are closing in.
The ‘list’ that the board and manager have drawn up must surely be the longest selection of potential strikers ever, as day after day West Ham are linked with a new marksman.
Rumours had it that at one point the Hammers had decided upon the Colombia international, Carlos Bacca. Some fans, perhaps, were not all too aware of Bacca, but the more you research his stats, the more the player grows on you.
The 29-year-old (he will be 30 in September) is on the line as far as age and West Ham’s recruitment policy is concerned, but you could overlook that once you start delving into the goals scored box and his achievements.
Bacca was in prolific form for AC Milan during his first season in Serie A after signing from Sevilla last summer, but he will miss the start of pre-season after representing Colombia at the Copa America. West Ham were rumoured to have made a €20m bid for the striker, but have been unable to secure an agreement and now the Irons have competition, chiefly from Atletico Madrid.
A report from Gazzetta World states that the player’s current club are holding out for a fee of at least €30m, and they are willing to wait until August to make a decision on whether to sell him or not.
In his first season in Serie A, Bacca scored 18 goals in 38 appearances, however, the Milan side struggled and only finished in seventh place, thus missing out on a European spot – West Ham can offer the Colombian Premier League and European football.
One look at his goalscoring statistics and you start to see why other clubs are taking notice as well the Hammers. During his one season with Club Brugge he made 45 appearances and scored 28 goals, in two seasons with Sevilla he notched 34 in 72 and with Colombia he’s bagged 13 in 33 games. The man scores goals, and that’s exactly what West Ham need.
The prices keep increasing and threaten to spiral out of control as West Ham look to Batshuayi and Alexandre Lacazette, so why not go all in on a prolific striker that has been around that bit longer with more experience? Lacazette didn’t even make the France squad this summer, it has to be remembered.
At the beginning of June, Bacca’s intermediary, Sergio Barila confirmed to the Guardian: “There was an offer last week from West Ham which was rejected, so we must wait. Carlos is very happy in Milan because it is a very big club and he has enjoyed his time there so far. But they will not play in European competition next season and that could be a problem.”
While the Hammers carry on running the rule over the players on their list, they must make a decision soon and then go all out for the players they really want. To keep chasing players that appear not to want to join the London club is pointless, as the fans will consider money their only true motive for playing for their club.
Bacca looks a realistic option though.
Time for the Hammers’ board and Slaven Bilic to make a decision.