West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the new era set to begin at their club, what with news that Manuel Pellegrini looks likely to take over at the London Stadium.
The Chilean is best known to English football fans for his time in charge of Manchester City between 2013 and 2016, in which the 64-year-old helped lead the club to just their second Premier League title in 2014, as well as League Cup triumphs in both that year and 2016. More recently, Pellegrini has been in charge of Hebei China Fortune in the Chinese Super League, although he left the club over the weekend to intensify speculation that he is to replace David Moyes as Hammers boss.
As such, several of our resident West Ham fans have been looking back at Pellegrini’s managerial career and some of the players he has managed, with the hope that he could well seek to reunite with some were he to take over in East London.
And one man several hope the Chilean can lure to the London Stadium is £12.6 million-rated Stevan Jovetic (as per Transfermarkt), whom played under Pellegrini at City between 2013 and 2016.
The 28-year-old was one of Pellegrini’s first signings at the Etihad back in the summer of 2013, although the Montenegro international failed to make desired impact at Eastlands with just 11 goals to show for his 44 appearances.
And with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, and Alvaro Negredo ahead of him in the pecking order, it was never going to be easy for Jovetic to command regular first team football, although his struggles at City should be seen in isolation, as he has since scored goals for Inter Milan, Sevilla, and now Monaco.
This term, Jovetic managed eight goals in 15 Ligue 1 matches for Leonardo Jardim’s side, although injuries have plagued his campaign, with just 21 appearances for show for his first season at the Stade Louis II.
But even when fully fit, he is not a guaranteed starter for the 2017 league champions, and with West Ham clearly in need of attacking reinforcements heading into the 2018/19 season, a reunion with Jovetic should be of interest.
The Hammers’ top goal-scorer this season was Marko Arnautovic with 11 goals, but such have been their struggles in front of goal that Andre Ayew and Diafra Sakho, both of whom left the club during the January window, finished the season third and fifth in the goal-scoring charts.
Thus, for the East London club to move to the next level in their new stadium, it’s clear that they need to bring in genuine quality in the final third of the pitch to complement the likes of Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini – Jovetic would do just that.
And with the futures of Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll also far from certain heading into the summer, Pellegrini may be forced into the market to bolster his flagging striking ranks.
And a reunion with Jovetic at West Ham is what the Chilean should seek if he indeed takes over at the London Stadium.
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