West Ham United finally addressed their desperate need for the addition of a new centre-forward in the summer transfer window, with David Moyes sealing a £35.5m deal to bring Gianluca Scamacca to the London Stadium.
Indeed, prior to the Italy international’s arrival in east London back in July, Michail Antonio had been the 59-year-old’s only out-and-out number nine for the best part of 18 months, following Sebastien Haller’s January 2021 move to Ajax.
As a result, the Hammers had been linked with an array of strikers over the course of the 2021/22 campaign, with one such reported target of the Premier League side being LOSC Lille frontman, Jonathan David.
So interested in the Canada international were West Ham believed to be that, shortly before the summer transfer window opened, French publication BUT! suggested the Irons were preparing to launch a €50m (£43m) bid for the 22-year-old.
And, while it is undeniable that Scamacca is an extremely talented forward – having scored 16 goals over 36 Serie A appearances for Sassuolo last season – the argument that David would have also been an excellent signing is an easy one to make.
Indeed, following his €31.5m (£27m) move to France back in the summer of 2020, the 22-year-old has been on fire for Lille, scoring 36 goals and providing seven assists over his 103 fixtures in all competitions for the Ligue 1 side.
The £61m-rated striker has been in particularly fine form over his seven league outings so far this season, having already scored four goals, registered two assists and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 3.0 shots – 1.3 of which have hit the target – making 1.6 key passes and completing 1.4 dribbles per game.
These metrics have seen the £28k-per-week striker average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.37, not only ranking him as Lille’s second-best performer in the league but also as the 19th-best player in the division as a whole.
For reference, should the player who Lukas Weese dubbed “unreal” have achieved these returns at West Ham this season, he would rank first for goals, joint-first for assists, first for big chances created, first for shots taken, first for shots on target, joint-first for key passes and first for dribbles completed, while his average match rating would also rank him first in Moyes’ squad.
As such, while Scamacca – who is yet to score over his four Premier League appearances this term – will more than likely come good in east London with time, it is nevertheless undeniable that missing out on a £43m deal for David is already proving to be something of a transfer nightmare for Moyes.
Indeed, should the 22-year-old continue his remarkable form over the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign, it would appear extremely unlikely the Canadian will have an asking price anywhere near €50m by the time next summer rolls around.