Our summer search for a striker ends with Antonio as our only hope

We were linked with many names who have gone elsewhere and scored goals for their new sides

Michail Antonio (WHU) at the EPL match Arsenal v West Ham United, at the Emirates Stadium, London, UK on 19th September, 2020. English Premier League matches are still being played behind closed doors because of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and government social distancing/lockdown restrictions.

After the sale of club record signing Sebastian Haller in January, most Hammers fans thought it was a given that a striker would be at the top of David Moyes’ wish-list this summer.

However, unsurprisingly with GSB at the helm, we have not managed to sign a striker before the transfer deadline. 

This means that this season, we will play 38 Premier League games, at least six Europa League games and at least a couple of cup games with one converted striker, Michail Antonio who we all know too well is susceptible to injury. 

Antonio also looks set to play around 10 games for Jamaica over the duration of the season after he received a passport for the nation. 

Over the duration of the transfer window we were linked to a number of strikers to provide competition and challenge Antonio. 

Three of these have made big moves and it looks likely that we may have missed out on all three. 

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham completed a £36m move to Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma a few weeks ago. 

Abraham, in my opinion, would’ve been a perfect fit for our squad due to his hard-working nature, our strong English core and his natural goal scoring ability.

However, it was no real surprise to me that we didn’t sign Abraham due to his high transfer fee. Abraham has already scored for the Roman club. 

Danny Ings was another striker that we were linked to during the transfer window. The ex-Southampton man made the move to Aston Villa just days before the departure of the Brummie captain Jack Grealish for a reported £32m. 

Ings has already started performing in the league, scoring two in his first two games for Villa.

Lastly, there’s Adam Armstrong. I feel as though Armstrong was a more attainable signing than Abraham and Ings due to his much lower transfer fee ( £16m). 

Armstrong was signed by Southampton as a replacement for Danny Ings and has too already got off the mark in the league. 

I think Armstrong was a big miss for us due to his Championship experience which we have exploited before in players such as Jarrod Bowen and Saíd Benrahma. 

There were more forwards that we were linked to over the summer that didn’t get a move before the deadline. 

The Czech league duo of Adam Hlozek and Abdallah Sima were two that have been heavily linked to West Ham for the last 18 months. 

After the great business of Soucek and Coufal in previous windows, there were many reports suggesting that West Ham would attempt to exploit the Czech league further for some bargains. 

Both Hlozek and Sima are young forwards with Europa League experience and available for very affordable fees. However, reports suggested that Moyes didn’t pursue the pair due to their inexperience in consistent league football. 

Sima made a deadline day move to Brighton for £7m and was instantly loaned to Stoke City. 

In the last week of the window we were also linked with French forward Laborde. The Frenchman currently plays Montpellier and started the season off in fine fashion scoring two goals in three games. 

Slightly older than the Czech league duo and it seems that Moyes was more tempted by Laborde, but a deal was never struck. 

After such a great start to the season, it would be a great shame for our season to be disrupted by a lack of striker options. 

The increase in number of games that we are going to play this season will be tough for the fittest of players so I can’t imagine how Michail Antonio is going to cope with his paper-thin hamstrings. 

It looks as though we will have to rely on others when Michail Antonio gets injured. 

With the departure of youth striker Mipo Odubeko, it looks as though our only option in response to an Antonio injury is the false nine system. 

Last season when Michail was out, Moyes played a front two of Lingard and Bowen, which in fairness did work. 

Bowen’s intense work rate would put great pressure on many centre halves and he would probably fashion himself a few chances. 

By having two attacking midfielders up top we saw increased fluidity in our game and more chances created. Many have stated that new boy Vlasic is capable of playing in the position. 

I just hope that after such a positive season last year and some great signings this summer we don’t come unstuck up top. 

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