Hindsight is a wonderful thing, particularly in football, and that is certainly true for West Ham United when it comes to Kelechi Iheanacho.
West Ham are desperately missing their only senior striker Michail Antonio.
The Hammers have seen their bid for a Champions League spot stutter after back-to-back defeats to Newcastle and Chelsea.
Still hope for Hammers but Leicester pull away thanks to in-form Iheanacho
Meanwhile Leicester have pulled away from the likes of West Ham and Chelsea in third place on 62 points.
And that is in no small part thanks to the Premier League’s in-form striker Iheanacho.
The bitter irony is that the Nigerian forward – who scored his 17th goal of the season and ninth in seven games in Leicester’s win over Crystal Palace on Monday night – could be playing for West Ham.
Had it not been for a fateful decision by Slaven Bilic back in 2017.
As reported at the time by The Evening Standard, Bilic had serious doubts over Iheanacho and pulled out of a £25million deal.
Bilic snubbed chance to sign Nigerian forward after deal was lined up in 2017
Co-owner David Sullivan and then director of player recruitment Tony Henry had been pursuing the Man City bit-part player for over a month and were ready to meet City’s £25million valuation (Evening Standard).
“Leicester are now in pole position to sign Iheanacho, which has upset some West Ham fans who thought he would be the club’s marquee signing this summer,” The Evening Standard reported at the time.
“Bilic however, has other, more tried-and-tested potential targets in mind and will hope to complete at least one signing in the near future.”
For his first few seasons at Leicester, Bilic looked to have made the right call.
But what West Ham would do for Iheanacho now?
Sliding doors moment for West Ham over Iheanacho but dream still alive
With Antonio injured West Ham are now outsiders for a Champions League spot. But the dream is still very much alive.
There are countless sliding doors moments in football.
Not signing Iheanacho and him firing Leicester into Europe ahead of the Hammers could be the latest one.
There is still a long way to go, though. With 15 points to play for West Ham could yet seal fourth spot.
The irony is had Bilic given the Iheanacho move the green light they would probably be home and hosed by now.
David Moyes is not one to talk of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ or the coulda, woulda, shoulda.
He has worked a minor miracle at West Ham and the dream is still alive and kicking.
But Super Slav could have helped grease the wheels if he had gone another way four years ago.