The terms ‘striker’ and ‘West Ham’ have been thrown together a lot of late, particularly last month whilst the transfer window was open. It’s the key area the Hammers need reinforcements in with Michail Antonio the East London outfit’s only senior centre-forward.
The Jamaica international started the campaign in red-hot form, scoring four goals in his first three Premier League matches. However, the 31-year-old has only scored five goals since, having not found the back of the net since New Year’s Day.
It’s an area that David Moyes’ side have had little luck with in terms of recruitment, with the Hammers failing to sign a striker once again last month. There will certainly be a desperate need to add at least one in the summer, however, failed endeavours in the past have, in the long-term, favoured the Irons. Particularly the case of Maxi Gomez.
After Marko Arnautovic left The London Stadium for Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG for a fee believed to be around €25m (£21m), the Hammers targeted then-Celta Vigo star Gomez.
The Irons were willing to break their transfer record at the time to pay Gomez’s €50m (£42m) release clause, however, the Uruguayan remained in La Liga, joining Valencia instead.
Now 25, Gomez is still at Valencia, but the striker certainly hasn’t lived up to the significant transfer fee paid for his services almost three years ago.
Having scored 31 goals and registered ten assists in 75 appearances for Celta Vigo, the striker has netted just 19 times in 97 appearances for the La Liga outfit, assisting a further ten goals.
This campaign, in particular, has been an issue for the 25-year-old, who has scored just twice in 23 appearances across all competitions, starting 17 of them which makes Antonio’s tally this term look prolific.
Although Valencia didn’t pay the €50m that West Ham would have as Santi Mina was included in the deal, with the Spanish forward joining Celta Vigo alongside an initial €14m fee, Gomez certainly hasn’t lived up to expectations.
According to Transfermarkt, the striker’s market value was at £36m when he joined Valencia in 2019 and has failed to recover ever since.
After almost a season with the Spanish giants, the Uruguayan’s value dropped by £7.2m to £28.8m, but soon increased slightly in October 2020 to £31.5m.
However, from there Gomez’s value has continued to drop, with the latest valuation coming in December last year, with the striker reportedly worth £18m, with West Ham preparing to pay almost triple that just two-and-a-half years ago.
In hindsight, missing out on the forward was a blessing in disguise for the Hammers’ hierarchy, although their striker recruitment that summer didn’t go to plan with each Haller goal worth £3.21m.
Regardless, it is vital that GSB sign at least one striker in the upcoming summer transfer window, as a lack of depth up front could prove majorly costly with the East London outfit still competing in three competitions as we enter March.