West Ham allegedly wanted to sign Andre Belotti from Torino in the summer.
Well respected Italian journalist Nicolo Schira claimed the east London outfit wanted to sign the Italy international as a replacement for Marko Arnautovic:
#WestHam wants Andrea #Belotti to replace Marko #Arnautovic (sold to #ShanghaiShenhua for € 25M plus € 5M bonus): #Hammers is ready to offer € 40M to #Torino and a contract until 2024 (by €3,5M a year) for the striker, but #Cairo wouldn’t want to sell him. #transfers #WHUFC
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) July 5, 2019
But they ended up baulking at his €70 million (£58 million) price-tag (Claret and Hugh).
The Hammers signed Sebastien Haller instead from Eintracht Frankfurt for around £45 million (BBC).
The Frenchman has failed to fire thus far, however.
So would West Ham have been better off paying more money for the Italian?
The 26-year-old Torino hitman has scored 15 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions this season. Compare that to Haller’s six goals in 26 games in all competitions (Transfermarkt).
In 21 league outings this season, Belotti has scored nine goals and has averaged 2.8 shots, 1.2 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per game. He has also been fouled three times on average per game and has won an average of 3.3 aerial duals in each outing (Who Scored).
Haller, meanwhile, has scored just six goals in 24 Premier League games. He has averaged two shots per game, along with 0.8 key passes and 0.8 dribbles. The 25-year-old has been fouled 1.4 times on average per game. And the only area where he out performs Belotti is in the air. Haller has won an average of 7.5 aerial duals per game in his 24 league outings this season (Who Scored).
Based on those stats, Belotti would have been a far better option. Albeit one that would have cost £13 million more.
Who knows? Haller might still come good. And another thing to point out is that the Torino hitman might have experienced a similar struggle as the Frenchman to settle down in the Premier League.
We don’t know either way. But as things stand, it is looking like West Ham might have signed the wrong man last summer.
Maybe a fair time to judge will be at the end of the season, however, rather than now.