West Ham United face fresh competition over one of their latest striker targets…
Over the weekend, the Irons were linked with a move for former Premier League frontman Salomon Rondon, formerly of Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion.
The Daily Mail believe the east Londoners are one of several teams eyeing up a return for the Venezuelan international.
And now, according to Sky Sports’ Transfer Centre (29th August, 18:19), Rondon’s former manager Rafa Benitez is thought to be lining up a swoop for his old striker in a bid to add some depth to his attack.
The 31-year-old is currently on-loan to Russian side CSKA Moscow but talks are said to be ‘ongoing’ with the Toffees.
If the Hammers are to end David Moyes’ striker nightmare, then it’s time for the club’s majority shareholder, David Sullivan, to take matters into his own hands to provide his boss with the tools he requires.
It’s no secret that the Scotsman is absolutely desperate for a new forward. He may well have remained coy about the prospects in recent interviews but you have to imagine he’s a little nervous heading into a potential 50-plus game campaign with only one senior option – Michail Antonio.
And whilst the 31-year-old talisman has started the season like a house on fire, with four goals and three assists to lead the goalscoring charts in the Premier League, many will be expecting his injury problems to come to the surface at some point.
Since the 2017/18 campaign, Antonio has failed to surpass 24 league starts, per WhoScored, and that’s all down to persistent niggles and knocks.
Last season, for example, he missed ten matches through injury yet still finished at Moyes’ joint-top goalscorer on ten goals. His presence is certainly needed in this squad but a solid backup option would be very beneficial.
Rondon isn’t a name that’s going to have fans at the London Stadium super excited but at the very least, it should allow Moyes to rotate his line-up in competitions such as the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League in a bid to improve on last season’s incredible sixth-place finish.
His form up north earned the tag of him being a “swashbuckling” centre-forward with qualities similar to that of Les Ferdinand by Lee Clark, via ChronicleLive in 2019.
At 6 foot 1 with target man qualities – he has an average of 2.8 aerial duels won per game throughout his career – the towering colossus would also offer Moyes something different in attack, so he too could change matches in the Premier League.
Valued at just £4.5m by Transfermarkt, Rondon could be the perfect, easy and cheap stop-gap solution to the Irons’ ongoing striker situation. But given interest from his former boss Benitez, GSB will have to act fast.
AND in other news, West Ham “unlikely” to move for this mooted target, fans won’t be happy…