Over the last few days, rumours surrounding a West Ham move for Liverpool forward Christian Benteke have gathered pace – the Belgian has been linked with a £20 million move to the East End to join ranks with Slaven Bilic in the summer.
It has been well documented in the press that the Irons are looking to secure a deal for a striker ahead of our big move to the Olympic Stadium, and a brief look at the back of the programme from Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final clash with Manchester United will tell you that a striker is a must buy in the summer window, with just four at the club including loanee Emmanuel Emenike.
Meanwhile, Benteke is set to leave Anfield at the end of the season after failing to set the world alight in Merseyside following his move from Aston Villa in 2015. It is safe to say he hasn’t quite hit the height of his almost one in two goals per game ratio during his days at Villa Park – the big number nine has mustered just seven goals in 24 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
And whilst Bilic so far has a magnificent record with his purchases, this one, for me, is one to avoid. That is not because I don’t rate the big Belgian. I have seen first hand what a dangerous player he can be on numerous trips to Villa Park in the past. But I am firm believer of potential, and signing players like Michy Batshuayi from Marseille from under the noses of Tottenham is one that excites me so much more than yet another hand me down from Liverpool.
Andy Carroll was the last player we took off the Reds; hands, and look how that has gone. Again, I have no problem with Carroll, he works hard and on his day is unplayable. Unfortunately, he spends most of his time lying on his back receiving massages from the physio and I suspect Liverpool knew he had a chronic history with injuries when they palmed him off to us in 2012.
Whilst buying from abroad can prove to be risky business, the Hammers have proven that the right player can make a massive impact. The club has already been very successful with business in France in the past and would be wise to utilise that pool of talent again. And if the rumours are true that Batshuayi has a little ‘man crush’ on West Ham’s star man Dimitri Payet, the Hammers’ number 27 could well hold the key to the transfer of the 22-year-old Belgian.
The Marseille man has already impressed on the international stage scoring two goals in two appearances and is three years younger than his countryman Benteke. Not only do I not want the Liverpool forward at Stratford come next season, I don’t believe the club do either. David Gold has already come out and said the club isn’t looking at big-name players, and I would guess Benteke would fit into that bracket.
According to the reliable source, ExWHUemployee, on Twitter, the Hammers have been keeping a regular eye on the French League following the immediate success of Payet. So that would suggest the club will resist the temptation to buy Benteke and look to buy younger talent with bags of potential. Alexandre Lacazette is the other player linked from Ligue 1, but I think he will go to a bigger club than West Ham.
David Sullivan’s son, Jack, gave the biggest clue of all that the club want Batshuayi when he uploaded an image on social media of him in a Marseille shirt with the Belgian’s name emblazed on the back. Whilst young Jack could end up with egg on his face if the Irons miss out on the forward, it is promising that the club is looking at that calibre of player.
Besides, I see Benteke as a ‘purple patch’ player, and that would mean he would have to start week in week out and that forces players like Diafra Sakho out of the side. I would much rather see a fully fit Sakho in my starting XI, than a half-arsed Benteke.
Whoever Slaven brings in though will get my full support as so far he hasn’t let us down. But if I had it my way I would have Michy over Christian every day of the week.
Come on you Irons!