Hammers boss David Moyes has opened up on the truth behind West Ham’s failed attempt to sign striker Duvan Zapata.
West Ham fans were angry when the transfer window came and went without any new additions.
Especially considering the clear gaps in key areas which Moyes publicly admitted he wanted to strengthen, namely up front.
The poor form of Michail Antonio has only enhanced the focus on West Ham’s lack of striker options.
Especially given the club has failed to sign a replacement for Sebastien Haller despite selling the forward to Ajax three transfer windows ago.
Moyes has admitted his frustration in the last week about the shallow squad he has at West Ham.
That in itself has irritated West Ham fans who felt the club should have had signings lined up ready to go as soon as the January window opened.
This week an agitated Moyes told supporters and the press: “Do you not think we tried to sign players, do you not think we know we need a bigger squad.”
But to further underline his point, Moyes has opened up on the truth behind West Ham’s failed attempt to sign striker Duvan Zapata on deadline day.
The 30-year-old Atalanta striker is one of the top forwards in Europe and has 12 goals in 19 starts this season.
The Colombian would have signed for West Ham under Sam Allardyce several years ago but work permit issues put paid to the transfer.
At the time Zapata was playing for Estudiantes and had not made a single appearance for Colombia.
West Ham could not argue the toss under the ‘special talent’ rule and Allardyce shelved the move, as reported by Sky Sports at the time.
Now Moyes says a fresh attempt to bring Zapata to West Ham was done on deadline day only for the move to go the same way.
Adding to a small, brittle squad is clear a priority after the club failed to strengthen in January, The Evening Standard reports after interviewing Moyes.
“That one (a deal for Zapata) was done,” Moyes told The Evening Standard.
“But they (Atalanta), for the last four hours of the window, just disappeared, shut down.
“We know we’ve got a relatively small squad — it was the way we chose to be at the start.”
Zapata would have been the perfect medium to long-term solution to West Ham’s lack of strength in depth up front.
The striker is strong, great in the air, holds the ball up brilliantly and can certainly finish. He bullies defenders much like a fit and firing Antonio does for West Ham.
It’s a real shame the move never came off and it could have been the difference maker for the Hammers this season.
But with hindsight perhaps West Ham dodged a bullet because the striker picked up an injury at the start of February, has not kicked a ball since and could be out for the rest of the season.