West Ham seem to be rather short up front this season.
The Hammers spent £53 million on Sebastien Haller and Albian Ajeti. They did sell Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez, however, as well as releasing Andy Carroll.
Manuel Pellegrini prefers to play with a lone striker up top, but should Haller get injured, the Chilean will have to rely upon the Switzerland international.
And that could prove to be tricky, given his lack of game-time thus far.
The 22-year-old has made just one appearance so far for West Ham, and that came in the Carabao Cup against Newport County.
He has been overlooked numerous times by Pellegrini in the Premier League, and that might end up to be a costly mistake from the Hammers boss.
Pellegrini must give Ajeti more of a chance…
It might be wise for Pellegrini to give Ajeti some playing time over the course of the next four or five games. He needs to get up to pace with the Premier League as soon as possible, so that he can be relied upon as and when he’s needed.
Famous West Ham ITK ExWHUemployee alluded to the fact that the Swiss ace maybe rather annoyed that he hasn’t seen any Premier League action as yet, when speaking on the West Ham Way podcast last night (Wednesday September 18th):
“I was concerned when Hernandez left, because I thought that we haven’t got enough. Actually, at the end of the Villa game, if I was Ajeti, I would be annoyed that I didn’t get game-time against Villa. I’m thinking – ‘How long is this going to go on for?’ How much time before he starts getting unhappy. It is a worry if Haller gets injured.”
West Ham’s next four games before the international break are all winnable. They face Premier League matches against Manchester United, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, as well as a Carabao Cup tie against Oxford United.
Ajeti will surely get game-time, and more than likely a start against Oxford. Pellegrini should surely be looking to give him 20 or 30 minutes in each of the Premier League games too, however.
If he doesn’t, and he is forced to call upon the 22-year-old, he will surely regret leaving him out for so long.