West Ham and strikers go together like peaches… and gravy.
Ever since the two Davids took over the club in 2010, Hammers fans have had to put up with some truly shocking frontmen, with names like Jordan Hugill, Toni Martinez and Albian Ajeti likely to haunt them until the end of time.
However, in the summer of 2019 it looked as if they had finally broken the curse with the signing of Sebastien Haller. The Ivory Coast international arrived with a superb reputation, having formed a lethal partnership with Luka Jovic at Eintracht Frankfurt the season prior.
This optimism soon faded when Haller stuttered his way to scoring just seven goals in his opening campaign. His struggles have continued this season and David Moyes has decided to cut the club’s losses by selling him to Ajax – where he will no doubt go on to score a shed load of goals.
With Haller out, the rumour mill has been in full flow. Several strikers have been linked with a move, but which one would suit West Ham best? 90min analyses each player to find out.
Solve West Ham’s problems rating: 1/10
Let’s just knock this one on the head straight away.
For all of his rugged good looks, West Ham making a move for Graziano Pelle screams disaster.
It’s been four and a half years since he traded in his integrity for the chance to earn lots and lots and lots of money in China, meaning there is very little evidence that he still has what it takes to perform at the highest level.
Then again, he is a free agent. What harm could really be done by offering him a six-month deal if all other options falls through? Quite a lot probably.
Solve West Ham’s problems rating: 2/10
After mainly operating as a right winger for Watford last season, Ismaila Sarr has been leading the line more often than not this time out.
Sarr was one of the rare highlights of the Hornets’ previous term, which ultimately ended in relegation. The tricky Senegal international is blessed with lightning pace and quick feet, making him a handful for defences.
West Ham should probably not make a move though. Not only would he come with a hefty price as he still has three and half years left on his deal, his lack of experience playing up front limits his suitability.
He has not exactly been prolific this season either, managing just four Championship goals in 19 games.
Solve West Ham’s problems rating: 3/10
Mariano Diaz has had a strange career. After signing for Real Madrid as a youngster, he worked his way from the C team, into the second string and finally the senior setup, scoring a shed load of goals along the way.
After one season at Lyon, where he managed an impressive 21 goals, Real re-signed him in 2018. Since then, his career has been stuck in a tailspin due a string of frustrating injuries.
Last season, Diaz featured just seven times and while he has managed to remain fitter this time out, Zinedine Zidane does not appear to be a fan.
Obviously, he has talent. However, much like Pelle, his lack of first team action in recent times makes it hard to see what sort of player West Ham would be receiving. He is also (somehow) under contract until 2023, so would not come cheap, making a loan more likely.
Solve West Ham’s problems rating: 4/10
Lyon striker Moussa Dembele has been on the verge of departing the Ligue 1 side for over a year.
On paper, this seems to be a no brainer from the Hammers’ perspective. Not only would he be available on the cheap due to French football’songoing financial crisis, Dembele has also scored goals throughout his career. Until this season it seems…
At the time of writing, Dembele is in tragic form and has netted just once in 16 league games this season. Furthermore, he is set to be out until February with a fractured arm. Fortunately Atletico Madrid may swoop in and prevent a decision from having to be made.
Solve West Ham’s problems rating: 5/10
As 90min reported earlier this month, another striker on West Ham’s shortlist is Boulaye Dia.
The 24-year-old currently plies his trade for Reims and despite his team’s struggles – they are currently 14th – only Kylian Mbappe has matched his 12 Ligue 1 goals this season.
Dia is the archetypal poacher with many of his strikes coming as a result of clever movement inside the box, not unlike former Hammer Javier Hernandez.
What may put West Ham off is his lack of proven goal scoring ability outside of this season. He managed just 10 goals in 42 appearances prior to the current campaign and was playing in France’s lower leagues as recently as 2019.
Solve West Ham’s problems rating: 6/10
West Ham seem to be on a winning streak when it comes to signing Czech players.
Both Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal have made solid contributions since joining the club in the summer, which bodes well for the potential arrival of Adam Hlozek.
Hlozek, who currently plies his trade for Sparta Prague, has already been capped twice by his country and has made over 50 senior club appearances at the tender age of 18.
The current season is shaping up to be his best yet as well. Hlozek – who can play across the forward line – has already registered nine goal involvements in six league games.
90min understands that West Ham have been monitoring the exciting prospect for some time and with Borussia Dortmund and Juventus lurking, they should aim to make the plunge in January if possible.
Solve West Ham’s problems rating: 9/10
Red Bull Salzburg have an incredible record of churning out talent for bigger European clubs and their latest export could be Patson Daka.
The Zambia international enjoyed a breakthrough campaign last time out, netting a mightily impressive 32 direct goal involvements in just 31 Austrian Bundesliga games.
Daka is a potent threat on the counter thanks to his impressive speed and his eye for goal is also impressive. This season he is averaging a goal every game and he is capable of creating something from anywhere on the pitch.
He is seriously exciting talent and represents the best chance for West Ham to fill their Haller shaped hole. Go on Davids, do the deal…