West Ham United are reportedly in bid for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud this summer, with a view to challenging for a top-six finish in the Premier League.
But with the Londoners having missed out on realistic targets the previous summer as a result of too much ambition, are the Hammers making the same mistake?
Lacazette/Giroud will never join West Ham
Last summer, West Ham United made Olympique Lyonnais striker Alexandre Lacazette their number one transfer target, and had a bid of £43m rejected. The same summer, they were targeting then Olympique de Marseille centre-forward Michy Batshuayi and had a £31m offer turned down before Chelsea signed him. Lacazette has been linked with Arsenal and Atletico Madrid this summer, so why are West Ham setting their sights so high?
In the summer of 2016, Slaven Bilic had led the London club to seventh in the Premier League table. They were to move into the Olympic Stadium and were hoping to go deep in the Europa League the following season. David Gold and David Sullivan planning an ambitious summer of spending to strengthen the side but ended up wasting valuable time on the wrong players, eventually signing Andre Ayew, Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri.
They clearly haven’t learned their lesson this summer by targeting Giroud, a player who recently signed a new deal at Arsenal and would rather challenge for a top-four finish than join a side who finishing in mid-table mediocrity last season on less money. West Ham have also suffered from their transfers performing well below expectations, which highlights a problem in the identifying process.
Lack of effective scouting
West Ham have had some bad buys in the last two transfer windows. Robert Snodgrass signed from Hull City in January for £10m and ended his maiden campaign with just two assists from 15 games. Calleri scored just one goal in 16 appearances. Simone Zaza failed to score at all. 33-year-old central defender Jose Fonte, signed from Southampton in January, struggled for form last season too.
The Hammers owners have been desperately trying to buy big names to strengthen the club and improve reputation but there’s little indication that such acquisition are in line with the manager’s. West Ham’s scouting policy hasn’t worked well at all in the last 12 months but they continue to be linked with good players from top sides. Kelechi Iheanacho is 6/4 to join West Ham from Manchester City this summer, an ambitious but better target given he hasn’t been playing for his club.
But if West Ham waste time trying to sign Giroud, they could lose out on attainable targets.
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