West Ham United could be on the verge of repeating a familiar, yet fatal, mistake…
The Irons have been mooted with interest in Blackburn Rovers sensation Adam Armstrong for quite some time, with The Sun claiming last month that they were the front-runners to seal his signature.
It was also thought that Premier League rivals Brighton and Hove Albion and Everton were in the running, too.
And now another three teams have been mooted with interest this week.
According to the Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, newly-promoted Norwich City are the latest side to enter the race to sign the prolific 24-year-old talisman, whilst Southampton and Newcastle United have also been linked by the Express.
If the Hammers aren’t careful here, then they could be about to get a worrying sense of deja vu.
Last summer, the East London outfit were linked with a move for then-Peterborough star Ivan Toney after his 24 goals and six assists caught the eye in League One.
Posh chairman Barry Fry recently told Football FanCast in an exclusive interview that West Ham co-owner David Sullivan rejected the chance to sign the forward. He said:
“I spoke to David Sullivan before I sold him to Brentford because I thought Ivan Toney would be ideal for West Ham. But David didn’t agree and thought I wanted too much money and didn’t think he would have the impact in the Championship.”
He cannot afford to have history repeating itself with the Blackburn dynamo as there’s every chance he feels that the young forward will struggle in the Premier League, especially given the disaster surrounding Jordan Hugill several years ago.
Not to mention David Moyes’ desperate need to bolster his frontline – following Sebastian Haller’s exit in January, the Scot was left with just one first-choice senior striker and that was an injury-prone Michail Antonio, who has never started more than 24 games in any top-flight season.
However, Toney has since gone onto prove how stupid a call that was, bagging 33 goals and ten assists, helping steer the Bees to promotion to the Premier League He should now get that chance in the big time.
Armstrong has all the attributes to cause Moyes a similar sort of headache at the London Stadium – even more so if he plumps for one of their rivals instead.
Once compared to Sergio Aguero by Irons legend Joe Cole, the £25m-rated forward provided 29 goals in all competitions this season, which is the same number as all three of West Ham’s top goalscorers combined.
Rovers boss Tony Mowbray also described him as “explosive” and “devastating” in an interview with The Athletic at the start of the year, having managed him at Ewood Park, as well as Coventry.
There certainly isn’t anyone who knows him better than Mowbray.
On the above evidence, the Hammers could well be making a mistake by not pushing to sign Armstrong and given their fatal blunder on Toney, the club’s owners really must ensure that lightning doesn’t strike twice.