West Ham are reportedly working on deals for West Brom’s Salomon Rondon and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Both are target men so it is probably fair to say the Hammers will only opt to sign one of them this summer, particularly as manager Manuel Pellegrini has limited funds available to him.
Out of two, then, who should West Ham look to snap up this summer?
Mitrovic has demonstrated that his 12 goals in 17 games during his loan spell in the Championship with the Cottagers wasn’t a fluke. He bagged 11 goals for a struggling team in the Premier League.
With a more settled team around him, and with creative players like Felipe Anderson, Robert Snodgrass and Manuel Lanzini providing the ammunition, he could hit 15+ goals in the league next season.
Considering West Ham’s top scorer was Marko Arnautovic on 11, he would add firepower to a team that have struggled in that department.
There have been worries about his attitude and indiscipline in the past, but it’s very hard to judge what he is like in the dressing room.
Even when he was out of the first-team picture at Newcastle, he didn’t sulk and put his head down, but he could be an Arnautovic Mark 2 if a club with loftier ambitions come’s calling.
The Venezuelan has turned his fortunes around whilst on loan at Newcastle. His career looked to be drifting towards obscurity after being relegated with the Baggies.
This season, he has looked like a man determined to prove himself, leading the Magpies frontline with a sense of authority, outmuscling opposing defenders, and winning numerous aerial duels whilst chipping in with a goal or two.
During his three years in the Midlands, he scored just 28 goals in 120 appearances, with many believing he was a confidence player who couldn’t be relied upon to lead a forward line for a Premier League team.
For sure, he has had an excellent season with Newcastle but his goal record in England doesn’t stack up that well compared to Mitrovic.
Both Mitrovic’s goals and his age make him the better bet I think. He has the potential to grow over the next five years while Rondon is already at his peak.
You could argue that the Venezuelan is a better team player and would be more value for money, but the Serbian has the talent to become a top-class striker and is worth taking a risk on.