West Ham fans have been pining for a big name striker for years now, they were promised one last summer when the owners seemed hell bent to spend £20m plus on anyone who could wear a No.9 shirt and ended up with Simone Zaza, we all know what happened there.
After the debacle surrounding the Italian, manager Slaven Bilic will be desperate to get it right this summer. The Croatian, who is facing unfair uncertainty over his future in east London, seems to have a real talent in Andre Ayew, who has settled quickly after spending most of the season in the physio’s room.
However, despite the success of the former Swansea man, the Hammers are still in need of some added firepower if they are to get back to challenging for those European spots.
Bilic has one of the most troublesome centre-forwards in the Premier League at his disposal, in Andy Carroll, however when the former Liverpool and Newcastle man is sidelined for the majority of the season he is far from enough.
Furthermore, whilst forward Michail Antonio has enjoyed his best season to date, his nine goals make him to top scorer at the London Stadium, nowhere near the standard required for a club of the Hammers’ stature.
With that in mind, the reports which have once again emerged linking West Ham with a move for Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, who was on show in their 3-0 win over Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, should be music to the ears of fans in east London.
Whilst the former Bayern Munich man is in the latter stages of his career, at the age of 30, it has become far more common for players to continue their careers at the very top for a lot longer than those just a few years ago.
Therefore, it would be wise to take age out of the equation when it comes to this particular deal. Should he come in and score 15-20 goals over a couple of seasons, there will be few moaning that he’s getting on.
West Ham are not in desperate need of a sole striker, just someone to link up with Carroll and Ayew and provide goals and competition to their front line.
The Croatian, then, seems perfectly suited to such a role, whilst also providing that big name signing which fans crave each summer.
In addition to all he offers on the pitch, the 30-year-old brings a wealth of European experience, with a Champions League winners medal to prove his worth, something which could prove invaluable should the club return to challenging for the European spots.