Irons ‘targets’ don’t really stack up

christian-benteke-Liverpool‘News’ that West Ham are apparently ready to spend £20 million on a big name front man is again being repeated in the national press and elsewhere on social media today.

Three names are being regularly mentioned – Christian Benteke, Wilfried Bony and of course Marseilles’ Michy Batshuayi who put a massive dampener on that by agreeing a new contract in France over the last couple of days.


Whilst the papers are keen to play up the £20 million price tag, what they appear to have overlooked is that David Sullivan has made it clear he wants a 20 goals a season man.

There’s also a couple of other flaws in the ‘story.’

  • how do you get such a player for less than around £130k a week?
  • what happens to Andy Carroll?

Doesn’t really stack up does it?

But first let’s take a look at the names mentioned and their goal-scoring records:

Benteke: seven goals in 34 games for Liverpool

Bony: eight goals in 26 for Manchester City

Bony has been a favourite of David Sullivan’s since the time Sam Allardyce persuaded him to go for Carroll but the striker managed only 13 goals from 40 games last season. As for Benteke, err we’ve had dealings with Liverpool in the past over a high priced striker!

For the £20m apparently on offer the striker concerned would have to become our No 1 and personally I don’t see anyone grabbing that job from Sak who managed 12 from 26 last season despite injury and perfectly fits Slav’s preferred system.

However, it’s the Carroll scenario that will be the biggest problem area in bringing in any player whose wages are the equal or in excess of his.

Having just paid out around £125k a week for Dimi Payet and with our FFP ceiling at £67m it seems logical that Carroll or one of the big hitters would have to leave. In fact it would HAVE to happen.

And with AC’s injury record, plus Slav’s liking of him anyway, is that going to happen?

It may be advisable to treat these regularly repeated stories for entertainment value only and allow ourselves to keep our eyes firmly fixed on this brilliantly exciting season rather than the summer transfer market.

Players are always on the radar – we scout around 50 a week… one or two names slip through the net into the public domain but they should be treated with caution particularly at this stage of the year!

Now, let’s get our minds back on Manchester United.





About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

9 comments on “Irons ‘targets’ don’t really stack up

  1. I would go after Wison of Bournemouth who if fit in our side would score the goals or Deeney of Watford or Stuff the Spuds and chase Barahino off WBA,
    All capable of challenging Sak or play alongside him,
    Honey has turned us down and will be 28 Benteke would give us nothing extra and now will not be dropping in wages,
    If we can’t bring anyone else in then a third striker alongside Sak and AC is a must,
    Ayew of Swansea or Remy of Chelski

    • Doubt if we’ll sign anyone off an English club, I trust Slav and his team to source an unexposed bargain from Europe

  2. I’m sure the chairmen are well on top of summer recruitment. I agree Sakho is a valuable member of the team and it should be his place to lose. With that in mind, I would like to see them go after Fulham’s Dembele. A good prospect with championship experience and out of contract in the summer so would make great financial sense. Wouldn’t expect a first team place straight away but would definitely improve the squad, and in time would push for a starting place just like Antonio has under Slav. I know we were looking at Sisto last summer and would be happy to see that resurrected too, as looks another one with a bright future.

    If we are going for a 20 goal striker, I would hope we would go after Lacazette rather than Batshuyai. His out and out pace would be great in the Premier League and Eminike has shown pace is another welcome string to the bow of West Ham’s front line. Not had a great season this year by his standards so hopefully wouldn’t come with the form premium that Batshuyai does. Domenico Berardi is also another fantastic option, but I imagine any 20 goal striker to be in high demand and carrying a hefty price tag.

    I would also look at some of the relegated teams. I’d take Ayew and Grealish from Villa, Wijnauldum from Newcastle, Ayew from Swansea (although I think they’ll stay up) and Redmond from Norwich. I’d pass on Sunderland though…

  3. So we don’t need a 20 goal a season striker then? Or we do but not those ones? Im not sure that the team is going to improve next season if it is relying on 8 goal strikers with seemingly never ending injury records especially as at least one will be at the African Nations Cup too. Just because our midfielders have covered the big hole up front this season doesn’t mean they will next and its amazing how a guy with the reputation of Lukaku for example can keep the opposition tied down when they need to chase the game. After all he could and should have finished us off last week in that situation. And look above us every one of those teams has an on form striker doing the business perhaps with one exception Arsenal and you can hear the screams of ‘underperformance’ from here.

    Whether its 20 goals or 16 goals fact is a striker with an ability to make goals out of nothing, take advantage of others skills which we have in droves, or can otherwise terrorise defenses and stay decently fit (or a decent mix of those qualities) is a combination that we simply don’t have, aren’t likely to have, with present personnel and is unquestionably holding us back, So making excuses for why it would be such a problem to solve due to one thing or another would be complacency of the worst order. You solve problems, you don’t run away from them for fear of facing up to their complexities surely.

  4. I don’t understand how David Sullivan himself can say on the 1 hand that he is looking to spend £20 million on a striker (and the commensurate likely high wage costs), yet on the other manage to fulfill FFP obligations. Will FFP be relaxed in relation to the new TV deal, or can we ‘up’ it because the numbers going through the turnstiles next year (at the OS) will increase by 50%?? Anyone know?
    Also, here’s a curve ball: Jelavic was basically a donkey, yet did anyone notice how improved he was by the end? He’d become very sharp….I think Bilic + team are IMPROVING players big time. Obiang was nothing special (hence only £4 million cost) when one looked at his YouTube videos, but now, he’s a very safe pair of hands in mid-field. On current form, I wouldn’t want Bony with a barge-pole, but he was superlative at Swansea…Do people think Bilic might be able to get that form back…or better?… even Benteke, who is looking a massive lost cause right now? Thoughts anyone? A freind said there is a rumour about Theo Walcott…Again; if true, he would not be my cup of tea…But the Bilic factor??? Think of it this way; look how many WHU targets have bombed at other clubs: e.g Ayew at Swansea…Thoughts anyone?
    Also, personally, I’m still a massive fan of Shelvey. His killer assists are as good as a goal a game; he did it brilliantly again for their (only) goal last Sat. I would love to see him back in Claret + Blue…but maybe that is stirring up a hornet’s nest, as he used to be booed, at least when playing for Liverpool…

  5. You can never depend on AC to play that many games at a time. His injury record has been extraordinary by anybodies standards. Imho Benteke is no improvement, yes he isn’t injured as much but he cant hit a barn door from 3 yards this season. He is a SA type signing, as for Bony i have never liked trying to sign players who have turned us down before for chasing the ££££. I would love to see a top top striker in the team & the two named above aren’t..

  6. Is Shelvey a 20 goal Forward ?
    Who would you drop for him Payet Lanzini Antonio,Noble,Kouyate
    Shelvey plays well at every new club then after 2 months just becomes a squad player,
    Ayew was great at the beginning of the season but then went down hill with his side,
    Walcott is as bigger sick note as AC,
    Dembele looks like he could fit the bill but won’t come cheap,
    I am sure Slav has his list of 3 he would like and we will get 1

  7. The way things are going at Palace we could probably get Cabaye and maybe Bolasie for next season although not a striker Cabaye would be an improvement, we also have young strikers such as Samuelson waiting in the wings. If we can’t get a top name striker or one that is currently under the radar that can score 20 goals a season, we should look to get a better passing midfielder such as Cabaye who will give our very mobile frontline and offensive midfielders options. Next season will be much harder than this no matter where we finish in the league because being in a new stadium with bigger crowds and being less of a surprise to the top teams will put a target on our backs. For all of our great results this season we are predictable in how we play, we struggle without Payet to break down defensive teams and are heavilly reliant on his magic to turn draws into wins, we will probably as a team need to play better and more intelligent possession football against lesser teams to stay at the top in future seasons.

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