Where next for the Hammers now Maxi Gomez has finally chosen Valencia?

Author: . Published: at 10:21pm

Written by whufc_London

The transfer saga that seemed would never end has finally ended today with Maxi Gomez agreeing a 5 year contract with Valencia. I would firstly like to credit the West Ham team that worked on this deal as we put a lot of effort into this deal when really we could have just accepted Gomez wanted the move to Valencia and Champions League football next season.

Pellegrini was adamant on getting Gomez and it’s great that the board have put such faith in his judgment and attempted to back their manager as much as possible in this deal. Although the deal failed with an agreement on instalment payments surely not many clubs pay £45m upfront these days. I believe all was done to get the deal over the line but ultimately Valencia was the preferred destination for Gomez and we should move on now.

Mario Husillos and Pellegrini need to go back to the drawing board and now begin to negotiate with other striker transfer targets. I’m sure we have a list that we can now look to make transfer contact with.

The press will link us to every striker going in the coming days and weeks now the Gomez saga is over but I believe we should be targeting at least 2 strikers with different qualities.

One should be a talented younger prospect under the age of 25 but with good first team experience at their current club, a marquee signing and a statement of intent for the club (like Gomez would have been).
Whilst another should have some form of English football experience, with Carroll, Perez & Arnautovic now all off the books we only have Hernandez upfront with any PL experience so to bring in 2 new strikers with no PL experience could be a major gamble, as we all know now the PL is a league that can make or break a players career and patients isn’t always given by the clubs.

Above all I believe with any targets and transfers we want players that want to be at the club and buy into the values of playing for West Ham United. We are the fanbase that adore passion and commitment, as long as the player is giving everything for the club the fans will back them. Of course quality helps but look where that has got us in recent years with Payet / Arnautovic being bad eggs around the club.

So who should we be targeting?

Below is a brief summary of my 10 realistic striker targets. 6 prospects from abroad under the age of 25 and 6 with experience of English football. As deals hopefully progress I will do more in depth reports on these players so you can get a better understanding of how they will fit into Pellegrini’s plans for next season but for now this should help as some of these you may never had heard of.

Jean-Philippe Mateta:

Mateta is 22 years old who recently starred for France in their Euro U21 tournament. Mateta plays for Mainz 05 in the German Bundesliga after joining them from Lyons academy. He is a tall, pacey striker with good strength. He started 29 games last season scoring 14 goals and getting 2 assists.

Mateta although fairly unknown would fit the bill at West Ham as age is on his side and he’d undoubtedly be a handful for any PL defender just with his physical presents alone. As well as this he is a composed finisher of the ball as shown with his penalty for France in their Semi Final vs Spain recently. I believe a fee of £25-35 million could get us Mateta and that would be great business.

Sébastien Haller:

Haller has just turned 25 and currently plays for German side Eintracht Frankfurt. He has a fantastic scoring record throughout his career so far for the German side and Dutch side FC Utrecht. In 5 professional seasons Haller has scored 74 goals in 160 appearances. Last season he scored 15 goals in 29 appearances in German.

Haller is reportedly a target for some top clubs around Europe including Manchester United. He has been capped for France at every youth level and in his current form can’t be to far away from a first senior cap.

I believe we would be a very attractive option for Haller and with his great movement off the ball and physical hold up play he could complement the creative midfield we have and the way Pellegrini would like to play next season.

Moise Kean:

Kean is only 19 years old but seems to have been around for a while now, his made 41 first team appearances already in his short career. Kean is a prospect from the Juventus academy and was part of their title winning squad last season having previously been out on loan the season before.

Kean got a good run in the Juventus first team once they had secured their domestic title win. During this time he scored 6 goals in 12 appearances. This then earned him his first senior international caps with Italy in which he scored in both games.

Kean is a pacey forward who drifts wide and runs at defenders with good trickery, with his height he is also useful in the air but this isn’t one of his main assets. Kean is one of the most exciting forward prospects anywhere in Europe and at a reported fee of £31m would be a great bit of business for the club.

Andrea Belotti:

Belotti is 25 and currently plays for Italian side Torino, he has scored 10 or more goals in his last 5 seasons at the club. This is very impressive considering Torino are a fairly average side in Serie A. Belotti has attracted interest from clubs such as Man City and Real Madrid in the past and is a striker many clubs would love at their club.

His a leader, with great pace as well as a physical stature. He finds pockets of space in defenses and one can only wonder how many goals he’d get if he had a creative supply throughout a season.

His a regular for his nation side (Italy) and i believe should the transfer fee be agreed he’d be very interested in our project. Unfortunately the rumours suggest the fee would be around £60m, this would need to be lower for us to be interested or would need to be able to be paid over 60 years ;).

Gian-Luca Waldschmidt:

Gian-Luca I’m sure many of you have never heard of and to be honest neither had I until the recent Euro U21 tournament. Gian-Luca currently plays for German side Freiburg and is 23 years old. Gian-Luca scored 7 goals in 5 games during the EURO U21 tournament. At club level he scored 9 goals in 16 starts in the Bundesliga.

I watched Gian-Luca during the U21 tournament closely and then checked out a few games he played for Freiburg and i have to say his movement in the penalty area is unbelievable, defenders rarely got close to him, he was always one step ahead finding space even when it seemed there wasn’t any. His pacey and seems very clinial in front of goal his known in German for always hitting the target and compared to Muller.

This would be a gamble signing for us but a gamble that could very well pay off, a transfer fee of around £20-30m is rumoured for a player of his quality… it could be very good business.

I’d watch this space on him, he has a big future ahead of him.

Gabriel

Gabriel is a young Brazilian striker many of you may have heard of previously, he is currently back playing in Brazil on loan from Inter Milan. The 22 year old was talked up to be the next big thing in Brazil and to this day he is still highly regarded. He signed for Inter Milan but was rarely given a chance and even more so not given a chance in his preferred position as a striker.

Gabriel scores goals for fun and has that typical Brazilian flair about him, his an incredible finisher in front of goal and is one to delight the fans with his passion and constant closing down of defenders. I honestly believe we’d be a very good option for Gabriel and with Pellegrini as manager and Anderson at the club if Gabriel could settle he could finally make a name for himself in European football.

Barcelona are keeping tabs on him and tracking his progress back in Brazil where he has so scored 23 goals in 42 games. I believe this could be a great addition to the team at the right price.

Callum Wilson:

Callum Wilson, arguably the best striker outside the top 6 in the Premier League. He is 27 and in the prime of his career, last season he scored on his International debut for England and scored 14 Premier League goals. He also impressively assisted 9 goals for Bournemouth. Last season was Callum’s first full season without a lengthy knee injury lay off, unfortunately he has had two ACL knee operations in recent years but does appear to be over this and really fulfilling his potential. In January he was linked with a £40m move to Chelsea or Man Utd.

Putting the knee’s aside this is an England International who scores goals for fun and knows the PL inside out. I recall him scoring a Hat-Trick at Upton Park a few years back and thinking when did we last have a striker with his movement and quality in the box. He can finish confidently with either foot and is a constant pain for defenders as we have found out in the past.

If a reasonable fee could be agreed with Bournemouth this is the man to be our number one striker next season and also one i believe Pellegrini is very keen on. After completing 28 league games or more in his last 2 seasons you’d like to think his knee injuries are behind him?

Salomón Rondón:

Rondon as I’ve mentioned previously in my last article would be a great addition to the club. His 29 years old and going for a fee of £16m. He has vast Premier League experience and has also worked with Pellegrini during his time at Malaga.

Rondon scored 11 PL goals last season for Newcastle and also assisted 7 goals. He is a strong target man striker with great all round striker qualities. For £16m from WBA this would be a no brainer for me to come in alongside a Callum Wilson etc. The problem with this though is we’ll need to move fast as Rafa is bidding to take Rondon to China with him. Hopefully now the Gomez deal is dead we will pay the full £16m release clause for Rondon.

Andrej Kramaric:

Surprisingly I’ve found a striker we have not been linked with so far this summer… Kramaric is a Croatia International who played in the 2018 World Cup final. Since his WC final heartache Kramaric has gone on to have a great season in Germany scoring 17 goals in 28 games.

Some of you may recall the 28 year old from his time at Leicester City where he made a handful of appearances before being sold to his current club Hoffenheim. Since leaving Leicester Kramaric’s profile has really built up and he is now regarded as a top striker both at club level and on the international stage. He is currently linked to Everton, AC Milan and Sevilla.

He has great pace and is technically very gifted as many players from Croatia are. He scored 5 goals in 5 games in last seasons Champions League also. I believe he would love a second chance at the PL to prove a point.

Olivier Giroud:

Giroud is 32 years old and has all the Premier League experience going. His currently not regarded as first team at Chelsea and could possibly be tempted into a move across the capital to West Ham. Giroud got most of his game time in Chelsea’s Europa League winning side where he finished the top scorer of the tournament with 11 goals.

With Frank Lampard going into Chelsea and appearing to favour the youth development Giroud could become available either on the cheap or on loan. Either way he would be the perfect replacement for Andy Carroll and offer us outlets not many others could. At the age of 32 i don’t believe Giroud should be a main target but certainly someone we could look to get as a backup should other targets not work out or to come in alongside other striker targets.

His very strong and not given enough credit for how well he links the play, obviously his known for his aerial ability but his very good passer and finisher of the ball. One things for certain he gives 110% every game and who doesn’t want a player who gives that?

Neal Maupay:

Maupay is a 22 year old Frenchman who currently plays for Brentford in the Championship. Maupay moved to Brentford two seasons ago and has made a major impact in a very promising young side. Maupay who came through the ranks at Nice is a pacey forward who is willing to make runs behind the defenders. He has also proven that he’s clinical in and around the penalty box. His scored 37 goals in 2 seasons for Brentford.

As we all know the Championship is a very tough and physical league. Having seen Maupay play a few times live i believe he has all the qualities to make the step up to the Premier League. His pace will scare defenders and he always plays on the shoulder of the last man, i believe with class around him he will provide the goals even at Premier League level. 25 goals last season who’s to say he couldn’t get 10-15 in the Premier League?

Sheffield United & Aston Villa are currently battling it out for him, the price is reportedly £15m from Brentford, (I’m not sure why so cheap). This for me is another no brainer at this reported fee. Once he plays PL football and settles he will be worth triple £15m.

As with Gian-Luca Waldschmidt this lad is one to keep an eye on, his has a big future ahead of him.

Diego Costa:

Yes… Diego Costa that bastard striker who used to play for Chelsea. You either love him or hate him and to be honest in a West Ham shirt I think we’d love him. His fallen out of favour at current club Atletico Madrid and is reportedly going for around £23m.

At this price with his level of Premier League experience this would be a great addition to our team. His a proper striker who enjoys the 90 minute battle with his opponents. His goalscoring record in England was great scoring 52 PL goals during 4 seasons at Chelsea. Since returning to Spain his goalscoring has dried up but this is due to lack of minutes and fitness. If we can get him back in the mood and fully fit we’d get a good couple of seasons out of him.

His currently heavily linked with Wolves but with him previously living and loving London surely at the price being quoted it’s a no brainer for a top striker with PL experience.

 

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