West Ham suffered a third successive Premier League defeat on Saturday after falling to a 3-2 loss at home to champions Leicester City.
Slaven Bilic’s men gave themselves everything to do by falling two goals down after just seven minutes, with first Riyad Mahrez and then defender Robert Huth setting Craig Shakespeare’s side on their way to a first league away win of the campaign.
Manuel Lanzini’s stunning free-kick brought the Hammers back into the contest, although Jamie Vardy made it three just before the break, and despite Andre Ayew pulling another one back for the hosts, they were unable to avoid a seventh home defeat of the season.
It leaves Bilic’s men 12th in the Premier League table, nine points clear of the bottom three, with just eight games remaining, so it looks like they won’t be sucked into a relegation scrap, and that might enable the West Ham boss to start considering transfer options to target this summer.
And one man they have been linked to in the last few days is Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi, who has yet to make a Premier League start under Antonio Conte this season.
The Belgian international moved to Stamford Bridge for over £30 million last summer, but hasn’t been able to make much of an impact in West London, failing to start a league game, and netting just six goals in 22 appearances in all competitions.
However, the talent is clearly there, and that’s why West Ham should bring the 23-year-old to the London Stadium in the summer.
To be fair to Batshuayi, he has done all he can this season to prove his worth to Conte, as it was he who came off the bench to score the winner in their 2-1 success at Watford back in August, just his second Premier League appearance.
And whenever he has started in the cup competitions, he has made an impact, netting one and assisting one in their 4-1 win over Peterborough in the third round of the FA Cup, and then doing exactly the same in the following round against Brentford three weeks later.
In fact, Batshuayi has managed just 503 minutes of football this season, but has scored six goals and laid on three assists in that time, meaning that he averages a direct contribution every 56 minutes he is on the field.
That is an impressive ratio which shouldn’t be ignored, and when you look at West Ham’s current forward options, they could do with a goal-scorer like Batshuayi in their squad.
Andy Carroll is obviously a quality forward, but cannot be relied upon to score the 20 plus goals a season to get into the European places, while the likes of Andre Ayew and Diafra Sahko have also had injury problems.
Michail Antonio is the club’s top goal-scorer this season with eight – that’s simply not good enough for a side hoping to get into the top eight in the division.
And that is also why a move for Batshuayi makes sense for both West Ham, and indeed himself.
He doesn’t appear to have a future at Chelsea – Conte started Pedro ahead of him when Diego Costa got suspended earlier in the season against Bournemouth – and as long as Costa is happy and leading the line at Stamford Bridge, Batshuayi is not going to dispose him from the starting eleven.
West Ham need goal-scorers, and one Chelsea striker is struggling to kick-start his career in West London – it’s surely a no-brainer, and a deal Bilic simply has to get done this summer.