Is Chelsea's Loic Remy the perfect solution to West Ham's striking woes?
West Ham have been searching for strikers since the transfer window opened and it is going to remain their priority over the next week. Sky Sports report that they are hoping to push through a loan move for Loic Remy, which comes just days after they were linked with Wilfried Bony on a similar deal. It appears that they have switched from looking for a big name permanent signing to a short term fix. This is the correct move by the club as there aren’t many top strikers available at this stage and West Ham can look at the market again in the next window.
That said, they do need to bring in a striker before the window closes due to injuries suffered by Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll. The latter is only out for a matter of weeks, but he can’t be relied on to stay fit and for that reason another forward option is required. They have a list of targets that include Remy, Simone Zaza and Wilfried Bony, but the Chelsea striker looks to be a good fit.
It should be an easy deal to do for West Ham as Remy is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. He has yet to be included in a match-day squad under Antonio Conte this season. At the age of 29, he needs to look to leave the club and gain regular first team football. His game is centred on his quick burst of acceleration, but he is likely to lose that in the coming years. The Frenchman will be keen to move to another Premier League club and show that he is good enough for the league. He enjoyed a good loan spell at Newcastle United during the 2013/14 season, but hasn’t set the world alight at Chelsea.
Remy would be a good loan signing for West Ham as he possesses a lot of quality and would provide a different profile to the squad. All summer, West Ham have been trying to sign a quick, mobile striker to compete with Andy Carroll. This provides the option to change the game-plan and the opportunity to use two strikers. Although Remy is getting towards the end of his peak, he will bring both of those things to the squad. He is also experienced in European competitions and at international level, which will help West Ham in their impending Europa League campaign.
The French international is comfortable with the ball at his feet and likes to drop into midfield to influence the game. He has the ability to pick a pass and get surging midfielders in behind the opposition back four. This ability to switch approaches is lacking in the West Ham squad at the moment and it would add an unpredictability to their build-up play.
In terms of finishing, Remy has been excellent during his time in England. He has scored a league goal every 151.6 minutes, despite being used sparingly for much of that period. There is no doubting his quality in front of goal and that will make him an attractive option for Slaven Bilic.
There are concerns about his lack of game-time over the last 12 months and whether that has affected his ability on the pitch. Remy is a player who needs to be given a lot of minutes to hit his stride and his role at Chelsea wasn’t suitable for him. He still contributed at times, but struggled to influence matches regularly. It is unfair to judge Remy from his time at Stamford Bridge and there are still a lot of unknowns about a player who has been in the Premier League for the past three-and-a-half years.
Bilic recognises the need for a striker before the window closes, and that need will only be enhanced if his side progresses into the Europa League group stages. After the move to the new stadium, West Ham are trying to become a regular in the top six of the Premier League and want a marquee striker to lead them there. They are unlikely to find one this window, but Loic Remy would be a good solution in the interim and allow West Ham to continue to source striking targets for next summer.
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