January could become another transfer headache for West Ham, with another rabid striker search inbound. Right now, four options stick out to Brace the Hammer, so four writers are here to break things down.
Status Quo - Trevor Criswell
Let's stick with what we've got. It isn't as if we are short on bodies, we just need healthy bodies (yes, I know, a big ask). But if Carroll and Sakho come back to form along with the other forwards plus our reserve strikers (Fletch, Calleri and Martinez) there are plenty of options for Slav to choose from. I know sitting in 17th position is bad and we are short on goals, but the talent is there. Developing chemistry in the side is hugely important and, while a January signing could have a big impact, smashing out wage/transfer structure seems a bit of an overreach. Plus there will be less to spend over the summer. However, this all goes out the window if either (a) we are sitting in the bottom three and/or (b) Payet wants out and is sold.
Simone Zaza - Charlie Walsh
Simone Zaza’s West Ham career so far has been less than stellar, there is no denying that, but you cannot truly judge a player’s ability from his performances in a team where next to no one has performed well.
His time at Sassuolo was his most promising, so promising in fact that it convinced Juventus to pay €18 million when they did not need him. He’s obviously lacking confidence but his passion and work rate are in no doubt, 2 traits that I want most in a player.
At our current level, I am more willing to risk £20m on Zaza than I am £30m on Troy Deeney or £40m on Daniel Sturridge, a player who is as talented as he is injury prone.
Simply put, I don’t believe we’ve seen everything Simone Zaza has to offer and giving up on him this early would be a mistake.
Troy Deeney - Andy Kostka
West Ham are in 17th place in the Premier League, averaging a goal a game. Now is not the time to worry about age or price. It's all about climbing the table. Deeney scored 13 goals last year and through 11 matches this year has three goals. If he strings a few matches together with a goal, he’ll be right on track for 13 again.
No, it's not the glossy 20-goal-a-season striker Hammer fans were promised in the summer, but it's the presence the Hammers need in the box to open up space for Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Andre Ayew.
£30 million pounds for the Watford captain is a big chunk of change, but it’s a necessary evil in the January transfer market. The 28-year-old has no reason to leave Vicarage Road, and the the Hornets will take full advantage of that by charging a premium.
Daniel Sturridge - Jonathan Liebling
This should be the hands down, obvious answer. Daniel Sturridge is rumored to have a £40 million price tag but that won’t stop clubs like West Ham or Stoke City from taking a go. It really comes down to simple math. Zaza at £20 million, Deeney at £30 million, or one of the most prolific goal scorers in the Premier League for £40 million. So what does the extra £20 mill buy you? Well let’s take a look at goals per game in all competitions since 2011.
I didn’t want to include that Zaza’s goals per game in the Premier League is 0, but here we are. To me, there are two clear cut options. The first is to buy Daniel Sturridge. However if that is not an option the alternative plan should be to returns Zaza and do nothing. Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew, and Diafra Sakho are bound to string some games together and do some heavy scoring.
Dimitri Payet has been targeted by PSG and several other clubs after his wonderful international performance. Dimitri has always asserted he puts the big picture ahead of big contracts. If he believe in the club’s long term plan that would be enough for him. What better way to satiate Payet’s desire for sound direction than bringing on board the 27 year old English international.