Intent on dousing the fire of anticipation ahead of West Ham United’s move to the Olympic Stadium with as many combustible substances as possible, the Irons’ attention-craving owners promised a striker would be arriving in east London whose class would mirror that of the state-of-the-art arena the Irons will call home henceforth.
A good few months on from these initial hype-generating statements a said marquee buy is yet to materialise.
It’s an understandable turn of events at this stage of pre-season – it would take one seriously rash goal machine to bind himself to a suitor whose most attractive quality is their swanky stadium when there’s plenty of time to secure a move to a Champions League club.
One of Europe’s leading marksmen may still turn up in the eastern sector of the nation’s capital, but the lack of activity has sparked a dramatic devolution in the names of those the transfer speculators are touting for a West Ham switch.
What started out as links to Champions League-frequenting, seasoned internationals like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Theo Walcott and Carlos Tevez today downgraded to Wissam Ben Yedder and Jonathan Calleri.
Neither of the pair would shift as many shirts as those who hogged gossip-column space before them, but if the Hammers could bag both, they’d be of much greater use on the pitch.
Ben Yedder has flown under the radar for four seasons now, with 14 Ligue 1 goals his worst haul over this period that also saw him accumulate 17 assists.
The Frenchman, who often played a supporting role to Toulouse’s line-leaders last term, strikes as the ideal foil for poacher Calleri, who has fired three goals in his first four starts of the current Campeonato Brasileiro campaign with Sao Paulo.
Through the purchases of Dimitri Payet, Cheikhou Kouyate and Manuel Lanzini, among others, West Ham have proved themselves to be handy talent spotters in recent seasons. Ben Yedder and Calleri are certainly similar in terms of stature and would be better suited than a commercial-friendly striker.