West Ham have completed the signing of Ecuador striker Enner Valencia, known as ‘Superman’ in his native land, on a five-year deal subject to the obtaining of a work permit.
Sam Allardyce and the Irons faithful will no doubt be expecting a handsome return on an investment believed to be in the region of £12m.
Valencia netted 18 times in 22 starts and a substitute appearance for Pachuca in Mexico last season and blew up internationally in the run-up to the World Cup, bagging seven times in his last seven showings for La Tri.
Yet, given the choice of backing him to score over or under 10.5 Premier League goals at 17/20, history weighs in heavily on the side of the more pessimistic assessment.
The turbulent post-millennial years of Hammerdom have seen 11 strikes established as the zenith for a first-choice top-flight West Ham marksman.
Freddie Kanoute (twice) and Bobby Zamora both managed it during that period, but only Marlon Harewood’s 2006/07-supernova season was able to eclipse the mark.
Since returning to the Premier League under Allardyce’s no-frills stewardship, captain Kevin Nolan has led the way, ten goals in 2012/13 and last season a mere seven.
Equalling the achievements of Kanoute and Zamora will be all the less likely for Valencia, who has fellow big-dosh buy and skipper’s pal Andy Carroll to compete with for the line-leading mantle.
This should see his starts at the tip of the attacking arrowhead eroded to at least some extent and that’s before the travails of Mexican League goal-getters in England are even considered.
Back in 2005 Jared Borgetti arrived at Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers off the back of several prolific years in his homeland capped off by an eight strikes in 15 spell at the club Valencia has just left, Pachuca.
Even Manchester United hero Javier Hernandez has managed more than ten league strikes in just one of his four campaigns, despite making more than 22 starts in each one.