One of more pleasant surprises this summer was that West Ham managed to secure the signature of the decent-sounding Ecuadorian striker called Enner Valencia. The 24-year-old has joined the Hammers on a five-year contract and big things are expected of him.
But few know much about the man, the mystery, that is Valencia – except that he was brilliant in this summer’s World Cup. Well, Blowing Bubbles is here to help. We’ve done our homework on West Ham’s latest big money recruit and reckon he’ll fit right in at Upton Park. Here are five reasons the striker has everything it takes to be a cult hero.
1. He’s the new Andy Carroll
By that I mean that he sounds like a good striker and he cost an impressive amount of money, but is not fit to play at the start of the season. The forward is apparently weeks away from being match fit. It’s pretty incredible that a player who scored three goals in six days can possibly be unfit just four short weeks later (and yet Kevin Nolan is considered match fit) but hey, I’m not the expert.
2. He’s nicknamed ‘Superman.’
I mean, it’s no ‘Ginger Pele’, but it’s hardly ‘Nigel Medi-ocre’ either. As nicknames go we’ll take that. You don’t just throw the name ‘Superman’ around. If people call him this, he has to be a super man, right? Right?
3. He’s versatile
No, not like a waffle, but he is certainly ‘Big Sam versatile’. He used to play as an attacking rightsided midfielder before switching to playing as a striker, which is ideal as Allardyce tends to just play one striker at a time.
This way at least his skills won’t go entirely to waste when Carlton Cole starts every game.
4. He’s a goal machine.
He scored 18 goals in 23 league games whilst playing for Mexican side Pachuca. Yes, the Mexican league isn’t quite the same as the Premier League, but the Mexicans did a lot better than the English did in the World Cup. If he could manage 18 in the Mexican league, he sure as heck better to be able to score at least one against Leicester, Burnley, and Queens Park Rangers.
5. He’s not your average money-fluid footballer.
This man actually knows the value of a paycheck. When playing for Ecuadorian club Emelec, he did not have a place to live other than in the team’s stadium—so that’s where he lived and slept. He also struggled to afford food. That he’s managed to persevere in an athletics career under those circumstances is great testament to his work ethic.