Last season was all about the underdogs, with Leicester City winning the league and Tottenham qualifying for the Champions League. However the success of these two teams, slightly over shadowed the phenomenal season West Ham United had, finishing 7th on the table and giving the League a new super star in the form Dimitri Payet. Slaven Bilic will be well aware of the fact that he needs to get in fresh blood this summer to complement Payet up front and push West Ham forward.
The Hammers will be shifting into the Olympic stadium next season, which will lead to an increase in the revenue of the club, thereby allowing the manager to splurge on Players who are certain to add quality to the squad. West Ham co-chairman David Gold has spoken at length about the desire to ensure West Ham are one of top clubs in the country.
West Ham have already been busy in the transfer window, bringing in Havard Nordtveit and Sofiane Feghouli for a grand total of £0. Most of West Ham’s goals last season came from their talented playmakers like Payet and Lanzini, which is why the focus this transfer window is on getting a top class striker who can deliver the end product. One player who has been heavily linked with the Hammers this summer is Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Despite reports emerging over the past few days that the deal was off, it seems that Bilic is still pursuing his target, knowing how valuable he can be to the club, if he does decide to move across the English Channel. The French forward has been a revelation at Lyon in Ligue 1, gaining the attention of clubs likes Manchester United and PSG in the past few seasons. In the previous three campaigns, Lacazette has been brilliant in front of goal, scoring an impressive 76 goals in all competitions. With his goal scoring abilities, he can give that extra edge to West Ham when facing tougher opponents.
The fact that Lacazette and Payet are close friends, could help in persuading him to play in London next season. The asking fee from Lyon might be a bit high, but given that the striker is still relatively young and has been prolific in front of the goal over the past few season, West Ham shouldn’t be scared to splash the cash. As good as Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho are on their day, they aren’t going to score 20 goals in the top flight of English football, mainly due to their injury problems. Lacazette on the other hand, is capable of producing a 20 goal season, especially with such a creative force behind him.
He could be excellent linking up with Payet and Lanzini or could even shift out wide to accommodate Carroll in certain situations. Lacazette might see this as a step down but with West Ham playing in the Europa League next season, plus their move to the Olympic Stadium, his signing could signal the start of a new era in West Ham’s history.