A worrying report has emerged this week as West Ham struggle to find that elusive new striker addition…
According to Daily Mail journalist Matt Hughes, the Irons have held talks with as many as seven different strikers last summer without completing a single deal in a bid to find a direct replacement for Sebastien Haller, who left in January 2020.
It’s thought that forwards at other clubs are reluctant to move to the London Stadium due to the form of Hammers talisman Michail Antonio. The 31-year-old’s prolific performances have effectively made him undroppable and that means David Moyes cannot find the right man to provide backup.
The Scotsman believes he is in need of a new striker to bolster their chances of Champions League qualification, with his side sat third in the Premier League standings, having also advanced into the knockout stages of the Europa League.
This stunning development is sure to leave much of the West Ham faithful absolutely worried heading into 2022.
The east Londoners cannot afford to rely solely on Antonio for the remainder of the season as one injury could seriously curtail their progression as a club.
It’s no secret that the former Nottingham Forest star has fought with his fair share of niggles, knocks and injuries since arriving from the City Ground in 2015. In fact, he has not started more than 24 league games in any of the last four Premier League seasons, that’s 14 games missed per campaign.
The prospect of playing 14 games, for example, without a solid backup is certainly troubling.
Antonio has already missed one league outing this campaign but that was through suspension and Moyes arguably lacked his explosive work rate and goalscoring nature as they were defeated 2-1 by Jesse Lingard’s Manchester United.
If this problem rumbles on past the January transfer window, it’ll be two years with just the one 31-year-old striker and that would be inexcusable from the club’s recruitment team.
However, as evident above, it’s not entirely their problem and it could be rather tricky to find a viable solution, perhaps leaving Moyes with the need to utilise the club’s academy system instead but that’s just as big a risk if they aren’t ready for the massive step up into the men’s game.
This latest report has to be cause for concern for the London Stadium crowd.