West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating their team’s trip to Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday, what with the Hammers going into that clash off the back of a 3-0 win over Southampton last time out.
David Moyes’ men lost each of their three matches prior to their meeting with their fellow relegation candidates last weekend, and were thus in dire need of all three points to pull clear of the mire. And the East London outfit produced an excellent display at the London Stadium as a brace from Marko Arnautovic following Joao Mario’s opener secured a comprehensive victory for the Hammers, a result which moved them up to 14th in the Premier League table, and five points clear of danger.
Subsequently, there have been many buoyant West Ham fans in the Tavern this week, several of whom are looking forward to Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge as their club go in search of a win which would take them even closer to safety.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Hammers supporters to discuss, not least recent reports linking them with a move for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is currently on loan at Championship side Fulham from Newcastle United.
And while the 23-year-old would likely be a useful addition to Moyes’ squad, the Hammers should forget about a move for Mitrovic, and instead focus their efforts on luring Crystal Palace’s £19.8 million-rated ace Christian Benteke (as per Transfermarkt) to the London Stadium.
Ultimately, the 27-year-old has proven his ability in the Premier League over many seasons now, be it leading the line for Aston Villa in their quest to avoid relegation, a short stint at Liverpool, and a more fruitful spell at current employers Palace.
In his time in the top-flight, the Belgium international has scored 68 goals in just 180 appearances and laid on a further 19 assists as well, with Benteke failing to bag at least ten Premier League goals in just one season in his career thus far, and that was when he scored nine for Liverpool in 2015/16.
Significantly for West Ham though, Benteke would bring similar qualities to their side to what Andy Carroll does, and given the Hammers often play better and look more menacing when the England international is on the field, that can only be a good thing for Moyes and his squad.
27-year-old Benteke is aerially very strong and does a fantastic job in holding the ball up to bring others into play, while obviously having a huge presence at set pieces in what would give the Hammers another dimension to their play, especially with the likes of Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini particularly good deliverers of a ball.
More importantly though, Benteke is not as injury-prone as Hammers forward Carroll, who has managed just 128 appearances for the club since his move back in 2012, equating to an average of just 21 games a season – thus, the Belgian would have more of an effect over the course of a season than Carroll does.
And with Mitrovic doing little during his most recent seasons at Newcastle to convince of his Premier League qualities, Benteke would also be a lower-risk addition to the West Ham squad, albeit a slightly more expensive one.
But if the Hammers are eyeing the European places in the coming seasons, they may have to pay that sort of money, starting with forgetting about Mitrovic and instead focusing their efforts on luring Benteke across the capital this summer.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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