In 2006, a West Ham cult hero Dean Ashton joined from Norwich for a then record £7.5 million fee. Goals, goals and some more amazing goals later (reminisces bicycle kick against United, consolation or not) Deano became a legend in his own right and if not for a devastating ankle injury, would probably have become not only one of the best strikers West Ham ever had, but a key player for England.
Now, in 2013, aside from Andy Carroll, we’re struggling to find ourselves a prolific goalscorer who can step in for or play alongside Carroll. Naturally, a player of Dean Ashton’s calibre would be difficult to find, but let there be no doubt that there are prolific English strikers around. The likes of Agbonlahor and Lambert would be perfect back up players for the club, who could also chip in with goals and actually keep Carroll on his toes in terms of selection. Lambert finds himself now however, with a growing price tag due to his England performances as well as goals for Southampton, Agbonlahor however does not have an Aston Villa place nailed down and may well be open to a move.
Looking to the future, there are a number of young, English strikers who show great promise. The likes of Cauley Woodrow, Jordan Ibe, Adam Campbell, James Alabi and Saido Berahino would be great purchases for the club: young and bursting for a go in the Premier League. Without a doubt, a good number of these players will be lighting up the top flight before too long, and wouldn’t we regret it if it were not in the claret and blue?
Evidently, there are a number of reasons why these players will not be bought, but if we do want to see a ‘next Dean Ashton’, it’s probably best to start looking now and avoid spending a few million a couple years into the future, and who knows, in a few years, one the aforementioned players might be tearing up the Premier League with our very own Elliott Lee.