After spending £45m on a brand new, shiny striker in the summer of 2019, Sebastian Haller’s time at West Ham has come to an end.
The French born Ivory Coast striker has scored just ten league goals since his move from Eintracht Frankfurt and is now on the move to the Eredivisie, with Ajax agreeing to pay £20m for the 26-year-old.
It bring to an end a poor show in England for Haller, but West Ham will look to move on and will now need to replace him this winter to provide attacking cover for first-choice striker Michail Antonio.
With Antonio suffering with muscle injuries throughout his career, but in particularly this season, David Moyes will look to reinvest the cash in someone he can rely on and likely someone who fits their style a bit more. So who are his best options?
The one that instantly comes to mind is Brentford’s Ivan Toney. The 24-year-old English forward has been fantastic in the Championship during his first season with the Bees, scoring 16 goals in 20 league games so far this season.
His touch is excellent, he has good poaching instincts and is a very confident finisher. He’s mobile, can run the channels but most importantly for a Moyes side he has a physical presence that would see him fit in well. He’d also likely not expect to be an automatic starter but is good enough to provide competition and eventually become someone who starts regularly.
Another forward option is the current Championship top goalscorer in Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong. The 23-year-old has similar attributes to Antonio, playing like a winger up front. He has a preference for cutting in from wide positions despite being deployed through the middle, has a wicked finish on him and is full of pace. Where he struggles is in physical battles and aerially, but as a back up option could provide good depth and would suit the rest of the setup well.
Looking at the Premier League, Moyes could look to move for one of Chelsea’s front men should Lampard decide to allow them to leave.
Both Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud have been competing with each other for the centre forward role at Stamford Bridge this season, despite the arrival of Timo Werner. With the German struggling for form having been played out on the left wing for much of the campaign, Lampard could decide to move him into his natural position as he is now under severe pressure for his job.
If that’s the case, one of Abraham and Giroud would become third choice. With Euro 2020 coming this summer, neither will want that to happen as both are currently expected to go with their national teams to the tournament but their place will be under threat should their playing time reduce.
Both players are big figures up front but despite a similar physical size, their styles are different. Giroud is the more proven forward, with his hold up play excellent and a great knack for scoring goals at the near post of from set-pieces, while Abraham is a lot more similar to Antonio.
He prefers to run into spaces and is a more mobile threat, although he delivers his best form in and around the penalty area relying on his instincts. Either would be a good option for Moyes, but both would expect to be first choice ahead of Antonio if they were to move to the London Stadium.
The first choice target however seems to be Ligue 1’s Boulaye Dia, who currently plays for Reims. Dia has scored ten league goals this season so far, bettered only by Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, and would be available for a sum similar to what Haller is leaving for.
Dia has great pace, is good with both feet and is a confident finisher but does have some flaws to his game too. His touch isn’t the greatest, he lacks a physical presence and isn’t very good aerially which could see him struggle in this West Ham side.
He has good raw attributes that are similar to Antonio’s and with a bit of coaching and time to adapt, he could be the answer for Moyes.
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