West Ham’s Problems Up Front

Author: . Published: at 9:00pm

West Ham are seemingly cursed when it comes to signing strikers having signed over 30 strikers since David Gold and David Sullivan bought the club back in January 2010. While some of these have been loan deals, some have included some pretty hefty transfer fees.

The start of the 2017/18 Premier League season only served to highlight the club’s ongoing problems in attack, although the Hammers picked up their first points of the season in their first home game against Huddersfield. With a 3-0 win at the London Stadium, it could be the case that Betfair football bets might start to look more favourably at West Ham’s chances of a win.

In this article, we take a look at some of the worst strikers West Ham have signed since Gold and Sullivan took over the ownership of the club.

Some of the worst signings have come in the loan market, when West Ham must have felt that they could find a short term, cheap fix to their problems. Looking at the list of those who have joined on loan, the likes of Mido, Marouane Chamakh, Emmanuel Emenike and Simone Zaza have to rank as the worst.

Between the four of them, only two goals were scored, neither of them in the Premier League. Both goals were scored by Emenike in a 5-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in an FA Cup tie.

Ilan, John Carew and Mladen Petric were all signed on free transfers but were all released without much of a fanfare. Carlton Cole initially joined in July 2006 for an undisclosed fee, however he was released by the club at the end of the 2012/13 season. He was re-signed in October 2013 and would eventually stay until the summer of 2015, his second spell was even less prolific than his first.

Mauro Zarate and Ashley Fletcher were signed on free transfers from Velez Sarsfield and Manchester United respectively. Between the two they managed to score 8 goals, however unlike the other free signings, the club managed to get a fee by selling them on.

There have been some instances when West Ham have paid a transfer fee for some of these terrible strikers. Most notable are Frederic Piquionne from Lyon, Enner Valencia from Pachuca and Nikica Jelavic from Hull City.

Despite having been bought from French Ligue 1 side Lyon, Piquionne had spent the 2009/10 on loan at Portsmouth during the season they got relegated from the Premier League. In his first season with new club West Ham, the club got relegated, meaning that for two seasons in a row, Piquionne was relegated finishing 20th in the league.

Enner Valencia joined from Mexican club Pachuca in a deal worth around £12 million however during his three seasons in the Premier League, he only managed to score 11 goals in 75 games, 8 of those coming in his 54 appearances for West Ham. He has since moved back to Mexico to play for Tigres UANL.

Prior to his move to West Ham, Nikica Jelavic had spells in the Premier League with Everton and Hull City. He scored 33 goals in 114 Premier League appearances before his summer switch to West Ham, where he only managed 2 goals in 15 appearances. Around 6 months later he would move to the Chinese League One to play for Beijin Renhe.

Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho are the two senior strikers who remain at the club, while Antonio Martinez, signed from Valencia often plays for the U23 team. At only 20, Martinez still has enough time to become a star at the club.

During the summer transfer window in 2017, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez were signed by the club in order to try and resolve their attacking problems. Both attackers have Champions League experience and manager Slaven Bilic will be hoping the new signings can help push the club up the table.


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