West Ham striker options

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Christian Ericsson commented after the Denmark draw against Southgate’s side that ‘his team knew exactly how England would set up with Kane plus one either side’ and were therefore, well prepared to defend against the Three Lions.

I’m certain that visitors to London Stadium during the latter stages of the Antonio era have been similarly well drilled to combat our attack. The surprise of that 2020 lockdown season when we blew away defences by hitting them on the break dissipated as teams worked out that there was no plan B and meant opponents have been similarly well able to set up to prevent our main man from galloping away and netting every game.

As a club we have lost millions trying and failing to secure a landmark signing to fill the impending void as Mikey ages. After the disappointments of the Sebastian Haller and Gianluca Scamacca episodes, a few have been mentioned. Hugely expensive options like Dominic Solanke seem unconvincing to me, although Gonzo’s article might offer a different opinion!  Everyone from scouts up to Directors of Football are scouring each continent searching for that mythical diamond in the rough much like Brazil’s next Jamie Vardy. (Now that’s a strange mental image).

With some of the gossip and rumour returning to ‘West Ham chasing wingers’ I wondered if the Steiden – Lopetegui partnership is signalling a shift in focus away from the lone number nine option.
Building on the purchase of Guilherme who ‘apparently can play across the front line’, we have been linked with many similar versatile players with the rumour count numbering well over 50 forwards and growing.

A quick look through media in just one day links us with Moise Keen, Tammy Abraham, Samu Omorodion, Matias Soule, Jaden Philogene, Karamoko Dembele plus another intriguing rumour resurfacing surrounding the possibility of Turkish-based Wilfred Zaha (pictured above) being available at Danny Ings money. Renewed suggestions from Sevilla commentators   yesterday were that ( yet again?) Youssuf En-Nesyri – at a more sensible £21 million – is keen to reunite with Lopetegui and on the radar once more.

Would it be so bad if we lined up in August without the traditional out-and-out centre-forward?
Wilfred Zaha, En-Nesyri, Mo Kudus and Jarrod Bowen as a free-flowing, interchangeable front unit would strike fear into most defences and I’d certainly spend good money coming to watch THAT game.

Keep an eye on the rumour mill over the coming weeks and see how many ‘wingers’ are actually recruited. It will be interesting to see who signs on the line and signals the direction of our attacking strategy in this new era. Maybe Solanke will arrive – maybe Zaha,  maybe neither – but whoever does appear doing the crossed hammer arms in the media shots will give us a great indication of what lies ahead.

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Like everyone else, lifelong WHU fan and season ticket holder in old BMU stand at Upton Park from 2003. Billy Bonds these days with my adult son and impatiently waiting for my Grandson to be old enough to initiate him before his mum grabs him for Man U. All opinions are my own very biased ones.


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