I’m not the only one beginning to fidget as the summer transfer window seems to tick by carefree. To those who do not support West Ham United, we have been waiting patiently for a new, exciting striker for a while now… Two years being generous, although this could go back as far as 2012/13 when we realised that Andy Carroll alone might not be enough. Whilst Sakho and Valencia have had good spells, Sakho has been injured regularly injured. Valencia meanwhile, still struggles to control the ball. Not since Vaz Te have we seen a Hammers striker score so prevalently, even that only lasted half a season.
Many outsiders may be wondering why so many Hammers fans are beginning to panic but it’s only because we are recognizing the warning signings. It’s July in the summer transfer window and the circle of the life in the search for a striker is well under way.
Usually, the signs come first in a wave of excitement as the headlines begin to circulate with big names are linked with the club on a daily basis. This is soon replaced with envy as we watch the other clubs around us snap up their targets early. Finally, frustration grows, usually accumulating until we reach the red zone. This is typically triggered by a headline such as… (I’ll use this season’s example)
“Giroud to leave Arsenal as Everton lead West Ham in race for 20m striker”.
This is usually the point that Twitter accounts across the East End begin to go into meltdown. Most seasons our top transfer targets are lured away elsewhere. To really stick the boot in, we usually could have had them for an extra million or two. In today’s money, we really shouldn’t be bartering over a million or two when a top striker can win the club tens of millions over the course of the season.
Next is the false hope stage, the Bacca saga last year is a classic example of this. We announce that we are after one of our secondary targets. This is often a high-profile, aging striker with a large wage demand, typically using the saga to negotiate a new contract or move to a bigger club. In desperation, the fans get hopeful. We lap up the headlines such as…
“West Ham transfer boost: Agent claims striker deal could happen”
It’s all fun and games and it keeps the window interesting but deep down, we know it’s unlikely. At this point, we are often given a consolation striker. Last season we were almost thrown Zaza, Calleri, and Fletcher.
The final stage is acceptance, we don’t usually bother watching Jim White tell us that there’s little movement at Rush Green or waiting for David Gold to let us know we can go to bed. We all fell for that lie the first time around. It’s just the circle of West Hams striker search that we’ve all come to accept. Hopefully this season they’ll be a change but with the rumors surrounding Giroud, Iheanacho and Batshuayi we’ve seen the start. I’ve even seen a Gray rumor circulating today, is that our consolation being lined up? Only time will tell!