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Jonathan Calleri Proving He May Have A Future At West Ham

Jonathan Calleri Proving He May Have A Future At West Ham

Slaven Bilic and the board at West Ham have faced a lot of flak this season, for one issue or another, with the departure of Dimitri Payet in January not helping one bit.

However, one of the main criticisms, aside from the trouble surrounding the London Stadium, they have had to stand up to is their summer business.

Of the thirteen additions the club made in the summer, none can be said to be a real success. The likes of Edmilson Fernandes have done well when called upon, however, signings like Alvaro Arbeloa and Simone Zaza have been, frankly, terrible business.

One signing that was desperately needed in the summer was a striker. The loan deal for Italy international Zaza, fresh from his embarrassment at the European Championships – where he was brought on by Antonio Conte simply to slot away a penalty which he failed in spectacular fashion – was supposed to temper their need for goals.

With the Italian now having moved on after not finding the net in 11 appearances for the Hammers, that one well and truly failed.
There remains hope, though. Another one to arrive in the summer that had been largely written off was 23-year-old striker Jonathan Calleri.

The Argentina international endured a tough start to life in east London, making cameos off the bench in the early throws of the season, before being ousted from the Premier League match day squads back in October, even having to play with the development side.

However, with Bilic having shaken things up a little since the whole parade surrounding the now hated Dimitri Payet, the striker has been given a second chance. It is an old cliché that it always takes players time to settle in the Premier League, and that may certainly be the case with Calleri.

There is clear talent there and, in the recent absence of first choice hit man, Andy Carroll, he has been given another shot by Bilic. And he looks to have taken it.

The striker was brought off the bench at half-time against Tony Pulis’ West Brom, with the Hammers trailing by one, and contributed to a superb second half performance, in which the hosts were very unfortunate to be robbed of two points in the dying minutes.

It may be early doors once again, however, it the nifty little forward can keep building on the performances he has shown off the bench against the Baggies, and earlier against Middlesbrough at the Riverside, where he bagged his first ever Premier League goal, something could begin to work.

Whilst it is hard to envisage him usurping Carroll as the first choice up top, the approach that the former Liverpool striker brings with him will not always work and, when Bilic needs to change tact depending on his opposition, Calleri could provide a healthy option going into the run-in and seasons to come.