West Ham: Everton compete for striker; Lacazette update; Bilic predicts improvement
West Ham face competition from Stoke City and Everton for the services of Wilfried Bony on loan, according to the Mirror. He is expected to move to China in January, but he is available until then and he could be a good short term solution for a Premier League side.
West Ham had been looking to bring a striker in for the past few weeks and Bony seemed to be one of the options that they were looking at. However, they have since signed Simone Zaza on loan and it is unknown whether they are still in the race for Wilfried Bony.
It is unlikely that they will move for the Ivorian as they are no longer in the Europa League. Slaven Bilic has a number of options available to him and Simone Zaza is likely to be first choice while Andy Carroll will offer good competition when he returns. West Ham predominantly play with one striker and these two will share the minutes in the Premier League. The need for another striker was high when West Ham were in the Europa League, but they should have enough to deal with the Premier League.
Alexandre Lacazette was one of West Ham’s priority targets this summer and it is well known that they submitted a number of bids for the French striker. The Express carries quotes from Lyon president Michel Aulas who has provided some more information about West Ham’s interest in Lacazette. He told French broadcaster SFR Sport:
“We rejected a bid from West Ham for £43 million for Lacazette.”
This is an incredible update and shows just heavily West Ham pursued Lacazette over the summer. It would have been a statement of intent from the club if they managed to sign one of the most sought after strikers in the world.
Arsenal were another club interested in the Frenchman, but these latest quotes show how difficult it is to land quality strikers in the modern market, especially for Premier League clubs.
This bid would have smashed the club’s transfer record and it is incredible that Lyon turned it down. The French club isn’t flushed with money, but they recognise that they have a wonderful player in Lacazette and they need to get as big a fee as they possibly can. He is unlikely to remain at Lyon for the rest of his career and West Ham may yet return with a renewed bid during the next window.
Finally, Slaven Bilic has spoken out about the club’s disappointing start to the season. The West Ham manager believes that the side will get better when key players return from injury. They have suffered awful luck at the beginning of the new season with Dimitri Payet, Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew, Sofiane Feghouli and Aaron Cresswell all currently on the injury list. On the official site (quotes taken from the Evening Standard), Bilic had this to say on the injury problems:
“A few of them will definitely be back after the international break,”
“Lanzini came back today and he’s not injured any more, then it should be Payet, Feghouli, maybe a few others and maybe Carroll.
“Of course it’s going to change totally the shape of the team and also the quality.”
Although it has been a disappointing start to the season for West Ham, fans should still be optimistic about their chances of improving on seventh position this campaign. They have an excellent squad, filled with exciting attacking options, but they have suffered due to an injury crisis.
Every club will have one at some point and West Ham have been unlucky that theirs has arrived early in the season. It has cost them a place in the Europa League group stage, but they are a developing side with a bright future.
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