In each and every transfer window most Premier League clubs search for that treasured ten to fifteen goal a season striker. Like a packet of Rolos, there are unfortunately never enough to go round.
Moving forward, what will happen to Arnautovic this summer. As Joe Strummer might have had it: will he stay or will he go? His proposed move to China and the subsequent media malaise with fans and his brother/agent certainly had a detrimental impact on the team. If the Austrian is to depart this summer, we will not get the quoted £50 million but he will still be the most expensive departure. Like a Wagner opera, he has given us good moments and, if he does leave, the arrival of a player like Aleksandar Mitrovic or Maxi Gómez would be welcome in my eyes.
The Fulham striker has scored eleven and assisted three in a woeful side that has seen three managers at the helm this campaign, significant rotation all over the pitch, and yet the Serbian has scored a very respectable amount. It’s been said before about other players, but imagine his goal tally next season playing in front of Anderson, Lanzini, Yarmolenko etc. I’m sure Fulham’s No. 9 would be popular in East London as he’s passionate and plays with his heart on his sleeve (much like Arnie, Dicks, Bonds etc.) whilst he would bring an aerial threat which will we miss with Carroll’s seemingly imminent departure. According to WhoScored, the Serbian takes 3.6 shots per game which is decent for a side that has struggled, but also highlights that his choice of shots and shot location is intelligent.
Similarly, we have also been linked with Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gómez. The Uruguayan attacker has scored twelve goals and provided five assists and, much like Mitrovic, he has done it in a side threatened by relegation. Both of these forwards would be strong additions and would bring interesting dynamics to the forward line. I believe Gómez would be more expensive but is Pellegrini’s first choice in terms of a striker.
One of my very good friends is a big fan of Lucas Pérez due to the fact that the former Arsenal man had a successful spell in my mate’s FIFA Ultimate Team scoring 193 goals in 184 games! Due to the success the Spaniard had in his team, my mate purchased a Deportivo de La Coruña shirt with Pérez’s name and number! My point is that through Rhys’ constant defence of him as a good player, I’ve grown to like him. He was wrongly disallowed what would have been his second goal against Leicester and his fourth league goal. Six goals in all competitions is decent for a player with limited minutes and, of late, he’s looked more focused and personally I wouldn’t mind him staying, as surely one forward will have to.
Hernández is another name that might want to leave the club this summer. I distinctly remember when the club announced the Mexican international: it was July 2017, I was already a way through the long summer between my first and second year at University. I recall fans being very happy as the previous summer saw us continuously linked with Carlos Bacca, so it was brilliant to finally capture a striker with real pedigree, as opposed to Jonathan Calleri! Chicharito, as he’s otherwise known, appeared the answer to the problems. We had the prolific striker we had longed for. Had Moyes remained at the helm, the ‘little pea’ undoubtedly would have left.
Pellegrini has been vocal about keeping Mexico’s all-time top goal scorer and I firmly believe we should unless he definitely (correct spelling, unlike Line of Duty) wants to leave. He’s worked hard in games, I remember specifically at home to Liverpool he worked very well for the team. Equally, even if Arnie departs and one of the two strikers already discussed comes in, Hernández has proved he is a fantastic option off the bench.
Most West Ham fans know that this summer will be a defining window and you could make convincing arguments that Arnautovi?, Hernández and Pérez all may want a move elsewhere. Carroll’s contract is expiring and his unfortunate injury record will see him leave. Ultimately, if Arnautovi? builds on his brilliant assist for Antonio in the 0-1 away victory to Spurs and is willing to apply himself for the final two games and into next season, he can stay clearly. However, if he elects to move, then the club will need a talisman in the mould of a Gómez or Mitrovi?, and I could see either one but particularly Gómez prospering in England under Pellegrini’s tutelage and with better creators around him.
There clearly are other interesting strikers that the club will look at, and I’d be interested to hear other suggestions in the comments. Indeed I think it’s important to recognise that a young player such as Xande Silva could definitely step up and be an answer to a problem and have an impressive campaign. Here’s hoping…
Hope everyone is still enjoying the Spurs victory!