West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has been outspoken in his disappointment with the Londoners failing to sign a striker this summer.
United have made bids for a host of centre-forwards ahead of the new season, but have been rebuffed in their interest with time fast running out.
West Ham wasting time targeting big-name players
West Ham have made bids for Olympique Lyonnais striker Alexandre Lacazette, former Olympique de Marseilles centre-forward Michy Batshuayi and AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca this summer, but have made no progress on the transfer front. They have been made to wait by Bacca, who was holding out for a Champions League club, and have seen one of their transfer targets snub them for London rivals Chelsea. Bilic has admitted frustration at the time-wasting.
“To get those kind of strikers, we as a club, we couldn’t fight with the big guns so we had to be very early, before them, and/or give more money to the players. And then it is also hard. But I said we are not going to buy just for the sake of buying, and that includes strikers as well. I told the chairman I can understand for some players we are not their number one target, but don’t want to buy the players who don’t want to come to us.”
Existing strike-force aren’t without flaws
West Ham United are reportedly close to selling Enner Valencia to Galatasaray this summer which would leave them with two strikers ahead of the new season – the injury-prone Andy Carroll and the want-away Diafra Sakho. As a result, the Hammers are in clear need for a new centre-forward who embodies the physical influence of Carroll and the mobility and pace of Sakho, but such a striker has so far eluded them.
Carroll scored nine goals in 13 league starts last season but missed 11 games for West Ham due to injury. He’s averaged just 15 starts in the Premier League in the last four campaigns so the 27-year-old can’t be trusted to lead the line for an entire term. Sakho reportedly told Bilic earlier this summer that he wanted out of the club so the Hammers are thin on viable options. They’re running out of time too with the new season starting in just over two weeks.
West Ham United are 2/7 to finish in the top-half of the Premier League this season, but can Slaven Bilic find the right striker to spearhead the attack?