West Ham’s search for another striker is taking them high and low with two players being linked with a move to the Olympic Stadium. While the Hammers would have preferred to have Andy Carroll fit and raring to go, the injury record for the English striker does mean that the Hammers need to find a decent replacement who can do the job in front of the goal or at least give Carroll a run for his money.
Another problem for the Hammers was the loss of Andre Ayew to injury and the requirement for another striker is extremely urgent for the team but manager Slaven Bilic isn’t going to be rushed into action.
As quoted by Sky Sports, the Croat said, “In terms of signings, if something good quality-wise comes up, we are going to act.
“We were linked with [Zaza] last year and he is a top player. We were in contact with him last year and will see what happens.
“We will not sign someone because we have to act now. The longest injury is Ayew Andre and we expect him to be fit in December.”
This does come as a surprise, especially the Zaza link. The Italian joined Juventus last season from Sassuolo but struggled to make a real impact for the Italian champions, he did score five goals but most of the talk was about Paul Pogba and Paolo Dybala last season.
Zaza was part of the Italian national side for Euro 2016 but he too shanked it horribly in that penalty shootout and if West Ham make a big enough bid they should sign him up. The Juventus striker can play as a centre-forward and has quick feet about him, plus he has that flair that most strikers do not seem to have.
The Italian isn’t the greatest at holding the ball up but he makes up for that with his aerial prowess, something that West Ham could use.
The other player in question, Wilfried Bony, has also been linked with a move to another club but on loan, since the Ivorian has not been able to establish himself in the Manchester City team.
“[Bony] is also an option because he plays in the position we are looking for. I leave negotiations to the chairman and [head of recruitment] Tony Henry”, added Bilic.
Wilfried was one of the best players during his time at Swansea and had scored 35 goals in 70 games for the Welsh club. Zaza was less prolific during his time at Sassuolo with just 21 goals coming in 69 games but the Italian can play in a number of positions while Bony is and out-and-out centre-forward.
That could be one reason why Bony moving to West Ham would make a lot of sense. The 27-year-old might be a little rusty given that most of the games he played last season was off the bench but if Bony is given a regular spot in the team, he should thrive for West Ham.
The club wants a forward who is strong and can be mean in the opposition defence and Bony is just that. The Ivorian is a terror in the box if the right delivery is provided to him and he does have a lot of experience in playing in the Premier League, which Zaza does not have.
Signing Bony on loan would be a less of a gamble as well instead of spending big money on Zaza, who has no experience of playing outside Italy. Slaven Bilic might argue that most of his signings have worked, such as Angelo Ogbonna, who too came from Italy but with West Ham needing a quick quality fix, why risk a foreign import when a tried and tested player is already waiting in the wings?