West Ham supporters have been in reasonably high spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing the Hammers draw 1-1 at Burnley on Saturday, despite playing over an hour with ten men following Andy Carroll’s early red card.
Slaven Bilic’s men went into their clash at Turf Moor having won just two of their opening seven Premier League games, and looked on course to record a third when Michail Antonio gave them an early lead against the Clarets. However, Carroll’s red card midway through the first half brought about a Burnley onslaught, and they eventually got themselves the equaliser when striker Chris Wood headed home Johann Gudmonsson’s cross five minutes from time.
And although there was some frustration among our resident Hammers fans at conceding the late leveller, several were satisfied with the team’s endeavour, and they are likely to be encouraged by a recent report from Portuguese newspaper Record (via Sport Witness), which suggests that a West Ham scout was in attendance for Benfica’s Champions League clash against Manchester United on Wednesday.
Although the report doesn’t detail who the Hammers were keeping tabs on, it’s plausible that they were looking at reported target Raul Jimenez, who led the line in their 1-0 defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils.
The 26-year-old moved to the Portuguese champions back in 2015 and has since scored 25 goals in 90 games for the club, including seven in 19 league games last term to help Rui Vitoria’s side to a fourth successive domestic title.
And the Mexico international was reportedly linked with a move to West Ham over the summer as manager Bilic sought to improve his attacking options, so it’s possible that they returned to Benfica to keep an eye on him ahead of the January window, where they may well reignite their interest.
Jimenez struggled against United though, so it very much remains to be seen whether the Hammers do indeed seek a deal come the New Year.
Landlord’s verdict: No fewer than 21 scouts were in attendance to watch Benfica lose 1-0 to Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday night, a result which leaves the Portuguese giants rooted to the bottom of Group A.
West Ham were one of those to send an official to the Estadio da Luz, and although it remains unclear who in particular they went to check out, it’s plausible that summer target Raul Jimenez was under consideration.
The 26-year-old has scored 25 goals in 90 games for the club and has helped them to back-to-back league titles, and as such attracted the interest of the Hammers during the summer.
And although he was largely ineffective against United on Wednesday, the Mexico international certainly has ability up front, but whether West Ham do indeed consider a January pursuit remains to be seen.
West Ham fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!