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Fonseca the Key to Ending West Ham’s Striker Search?

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As reported on C&H, rumours out of France are that Lille manager Paulo Fonseca is the frontrunner to take over the soon-to-be-vacant managerial role at West Ham, with David Sullivan and Tim Steidten apparently in agreement that Fonseca is the right person to take the reins at London Stadium. Now, we all know better than to get too carried away by rumours, regardless of how confidently they are reported, but it is always a bit of fun to speculate on the future comings and goings at the club we all love.
 
So, let’s imagine that Paulo Fonseca becomes the next West Ham manager.
Surely the first task of any manager coming in at West Ham will be to identify a striker that he will want to use to spearhead our attack. It is a decision that will quite likely ‘make or break’ any managerial appointment here. Now I would argue that West Ham have actually done quite a good job of identifying top strikers and bringing them into the club over recent years. Sebastien Haller is a fine forward, who excelled before coming to West Ham and excelled afterward at Ajax to the point where he earned himself a move to perennial Champions League club Borussia Dortmund.
Gianluca Scamacca, again, is a cultured striker who has excelled before and since his move to West Ham.  Danny Ings had an excellent scoring record before coming to the club. All of them failed at West Ham, because none of them was played in a system in which they might be reasonably expected to thrive.
The right striker for the right manager.
Enter Lille striker Jonathan David. He’s fast, scores goals and two-footed. He moves effortlessly between all the forward positions, though he is best employed as a striker I believe. Most importantly, he’s familiar with, and has already excelled in, Paulo Fonseca’s system. Conveniently, Jonathan David is also coming into the last year of his contract and this summer really does seem like the time for him to make a big move. There are rumours that he has already agreed personal terms with Napoli (currently 8th in Serie A), so surely West Ham would be a very attractive proposition should we come in for him–even without European football next season.
Here’s a few Jonathan David stats worth chewing on:
– He has 24 goals in all competitions (43 games) this season for Lille (.56 goals per game)
– He has 69 goals in 141 total Ligue 1 appearances (.49 goals per game)
– Previously, in Belgium, he scored 30 goals in 60 league games (.50 goals per game)
– Internationally, he has 26 goals for Canada in 46 senior appearances (.57 goals per game)
Obviously, the Premier League is a step up for players coming from most teams in most leagues around Europe, and nothing is ever a certainty, but Jonathan David has scored goals everywhere he has played.  And, I don’t want to put too fine a point on this, Fonseca already knows how to get the best out of him.

It feels like we have been linked to the Canadian forward for several years now, though he has only just turned 24 years old in January. I never thought he would be a good signing as long as David Moyes was our manager, so I’ve always been glad that we’ve never made a move for him. I didn’t want him to be another in the long list of talented strikers who didn’t really fit our system and got moved on for a significant financial loss to the club. But if the rumours of Fonseca’s arrival turn out to be true, I think the club should make all efforts to sign Jonathan David this summer, and, hopefully, put our long, painful search for a striker to an end.

Guest Post by Chris David

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  • Ess_Bee says:

    Regardless of any of us using our imagination, I can’t imagine Fonseca leaving Lille/Champions League football. Maybe money will talk if he is offered the task of taking us to the next level and Champions League football.

    • Mr Buddy Lurve says:

      Maybe, but money DOES talk, and this is the Premier League. Given the right resources and backing, he could help us win the Europa League within 3-4 years and that would get us into the Champions League too. And by that point I daresay we’d have a better chance in the competition… Lille won’t win it…

  • CB says:

    IF we’re able to bring in Fonseca then ideally the club should go for a quality CF in David. But I do also think Bowen as CF would suit Fonseca’s system too

    • Mr Buddy Lurve says:

      Good point, but I don’t think Bowen wants to play there. Kudus left, Bowen right, David through the middle makes perfect sense as they’re all interchangeable. That would be a nightmare for defences, backed with two forward thinking central midfielders and some progressive left/right backs and we’d be unstoppable.

      • CB says:

        Bowen’s ability to play out wide/centrally like David is the ideal CF for Fonseca’s 4-2-3-1. If you can’t get a Jonathan David then Bowen as a 9 under Fonscea’s coaching wouldn’t be a bad alternative, but ideally if there’s a chance to get David, 100% go for it!

        David up top, Bowen RW, Kudus behind the CF (David drops deep to collect the ball so kudus playing off him would be my choice) with a new LW would be tasty

        • Chris David says:

          This would be my ideal front four formation too with David up top, Bowen and Kudus each where they prefer to play and another speedy signing coming in on the left. We’d terrify defenses!

      • Steve says:

        Talking my language!

    • Hammeroo says:

      Bowen prefers to play on the right flank and cut in. He confirmed that in interview from the pitch after the game. Best play him there!

  • Ricky jones says:

    We are doing just fine with David moyes all this about bringing in a top manager we already have a top manager we have been in Europe for the past three seasons we won a trophy the club is more stable than it has ever been we are seeing top players coming to the club why should we risk all that by bringing in a new manager seems daft to me

  • ricardo says:

    Moyes is not a bad manager. If he stays however, we will again see any new arrivals come in to strengthen defensive positions. A new, fast and technically skilled left winger -if not quite a Doku, think of a more powerful Benrahma who doesn’t quickly run out of fuel- that allows the boss to move Kudus into a more central position, is unlikely to happen. Without a change, West Ham will remain a rather defensive team.

  • Derek Brown says:

    Please not another season with Moyes we have seen some decent players come and go at our club and make it when they move on because they don’t have to play Moyes brand of football he has done well for us but 4 wins in 22 matches has cost the club and the fans European football next season tim we for him to go.

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