Recent reports have linked us with a January move for former Manuel Pellegrini striker – and current Roma player – Edin Dzeko. It wasn’t surprising to see Pellegrini’s name linked with a former player he knows well from his Manchester City days – but it was surprising to see the normally soft-spoken Pellegrini emphatically deny any link or interest in bringing the 32-year-old Bosnian to Stratford.
When asked about Dzeko, Pellegrini was quick to shut the question down, saying: ‘You can talk about five, six or seven players that are linked with us. We must not talk about one player. I know him well but we are not thinking about that at the moment.’ This denial could have stopped the rumour in its tracks – but the striker situation at West Ham has since taken a turn for the worse with the long-term achilles injury that Andriy Yarmolenko sustained in the 1-0 loss to Spurs in the league.
With Yarmolenko unlikely to play again this season, could Pellegrini be looking to draft in a familiar face to add some striking power to our team? West Ham are heading into a busy winter with limited options up front, and we could use an experienced striker like Edin Dzeko to help the Hammers start scoring again. Chicharito is recently returned from glandular fever, which can reappear as and when it wants so don’t shove him into your fantasy teams just yet.
Arnautovic is recently back from a knee injury and possibly playing through the pain, and given that Andy Carroll is nothing more than a hologram and Lucas Perez doesn’t seem quite up to scratch just yet, we could definitely do worse than make a move for Dzeko. He is no promising youngster but his vast years of experience come with a high pedigree.
He has lots of Champions League experience, top scorer accolades, tends to stay for lengthy spells at each club he plays at – and has very few major career injuries or even games missed through injury, which may make him unattractive to West Ham, given some of their previous shopping lists. Here’s looking at you, Wilshere. He played for VfL Wolfsburg from 2007-2011, making 111 appearances and scoring 66 goals. His career at Manchester City saw him make 130 appearances and score 50 goals – and in his time at Roma, he’s scored 55 goals in 121 games.
He’s won the Bundesliga, the Premier League and, in 2017, was one of 30 players nominated for the Ballon D’Or – but he’s never really experienced the true competitive joy of a relegation scrap and may be wishing to add that to his CV. Dzeko brings physical strength to any side he plays in, and can play with both feet – something that would suit the flexibility of play Pellegrini is trying to bring into this Hammers side.
Having this powerful player would take some of the pressure off of Arnautovic, who is a talented player, but one who is looking increasingly isolated up front in games where he receives no service. Dzeko is also good in the air, something we’ve been missing in the absence of Andy Carroll and even, to an effect, Angelo Ogbonna and James Collins.
Pellegrini changing his mind on bringing Dzeko into the fold could be a great thing for West Ham United – and given the current injury woes and lack-lustre results, he could be just the familiar face the Hammers need to build their points tally and get back to scoring and winning ways. When it comes to Dzeko’s potential, January’s window can’t come quickly enough.