There is no doubt that West Ham United still need to find a striker to spearhead their attack and it is likely Manuel Pellegrini will look for a new man to do so in the upcoming transfer window.
As is commonplace within football, rumours will continue to fly around the place and a number of them will continue to be churned out by media outlets as the days, weeks, months – and sometimes years – go by.
Taking a look back at one piece of speculation that appeared to do the rounds last summer, West Ham must be pretty delighted with the fact that nothing happened as, well, the player in question appears to have fallen upon hard times this season.
That man is Antonio Sanabria. Marca claimed in August that the Hammers were interested in the former Barcelona forward (a graduate of their famed La Masia academy) and were thought to be prepared to splash out €22.5million (£19.5m) on him and bring him to the London Stadium in August 2018.
The Paraguay international had a rather solid if challenging, campaign in 2017/18 with Real Betis as a lengthy knee injury ruled him out of a fairly large portion. Despite missing several games, the South American showed his ability in front of goal by netting eight goals in his 17 La Liga appearances, including seven in seven matches (Transfermarkt).
Those figures would certainly have made him an attractive option and it is hardly surprising the Hammers were keen.
However, although it is difficult to predict how things may turn out in the future, West Ham must be thanking their lucky stars that they ultimately did not make a move for him.
Sanabria has struggled to make an impact this season, firstly with Betis before heading out on loan to Serie A outfit Genoa.
Valued at £9m (Transfermarkt), the 23-year-old managed two goals in 15 La Liga appearances before joining the Italian club, where his goal record is not that much better. Sanabria has three to his name in his ten appearances so far, although they came in the early moments of his spell at Genoa.
Both Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic have a better tally than that this season and they are two men who have doubts over their future at the club as they are not seen as prolific enough to take the Hammers to the next level.
Although Sanabria is still young and is continuing to develop, you could say West Ham have truly dodged what could have been an expensive bullet by leaving this one alone.
West Ham fans, where the club fortunate to miss out on Sanabria this summer? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts with us below.
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