According to a report from Sky Sports earlier in the week, West Ham were interested in a January move for striker Michy Batshuayi. The 25-year-old had been struggling for form at Spanish outfit Valencia on loan from Premier League giants Chelsea in the first half of the season, thus calling into question his future at the Mestalla throughout the January transfer window.
And Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham were one side reportedly (as per Sky Sports) keen on the £27 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) as they sought to bolster their striking ranks, only for fellow top-flight side Crystal Palace to get a deal done late on in the window.
And given the struggles of the front men at the London Stadium, Marko Arnautovic aside, the Hammers may well have missed a massive trick failing to land the 25-year-old last month.
Ultimately, the East London outfit do appear to be heading in the right direction under new boss Pellegrini, given they are sat 12th in the Premier League table with nine wins from their opening 24 games of the campaign.
And while things haven’t been great recently with three defeats in a row in all competitions, there is optimism among supporters that ex-Manchester City chief Pellegrini is the man to take the club up the table towards the European spots – but he needs more from his strikers if that is to be the case.
While Arnautovic has netted eight times in all competitions for the Hammers so far this season, the likes of Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez, and Andy Carroll have bagged just 11 goals between them this term, of which only six have come in the Premier League.
Quite simply, that isn’t good enough and will surely hold the Hammers back in their quest to climb up the table, as relying on the goals of Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson will only get them so far – the fact West Ham have scored just five times in their last seven Premier League games underlines their struggles.
And that is why failing to get a deal done for Batshuayi last month could seriously cost the Hammers as the season wears on.
Yes, the Belgium international seriously struggled for goals at Valencia in netting just once in La Liga for the Spanish club, but one only need look at his stints at Marseille, Chelsea, and Borussia Dortmund to know that he is a perennial goal-scorer – the sort West Ham are crying out for.
The 25-year-old earned a move to Stamford Bridge as a result of his 33 goals in 78 games for Marseille between 2014 and 2016, and while starts have been a problem at Chelsea in the last few years, his return of 19 goals in 53 games, equating to a goal every 93 minutes, is mightily impressive.
Add in his nine goals in 14 games at German outfit Dortmund last time round, and there is little doubting the 25-year-old’s pedigree in the final third of the field, with his ability to get into the right place at the right time to make the most of goal-scoring chances extremely impressive.
And that is what West Ham will be missing in the second half of the season after failing to get a deal done for the striker – instead, it’s Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace who look set to benefit greatly from the Belgian ace.
In fact, with goals something of an issue at the London Stadium outside of messrs Anderson and Arnautovic, the Hammers appear to have missed a huge trick in missing out on Batshuayi in the January window.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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