West Ham face frustration in long-term striker hunt

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Having made huge strides since David Moyes returned to replace Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham United have seen huge changes. They have gone from a club of expensive underperformers who looked likely to be relegated to a hard-working, versatile and mostly young squad without an ego. Thanks to the work of the likes of Michail Antonio, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, and Aaron Cresswell, West Ham have formed a connection with their fans again. However, despite being likely to make it into European football, Moyes and co. are facing a frustrating 2021 summer transfer window.

Previously, the talk of the need to buy a marquee forward to replace the exiting Sebastien Haller was discussed. Several moves in January fell down, with the most high-profile being a move for Youssef En-Nesyri. The Moroccan forward was linked with a move to London, but was in hot form with Sevilla and the club was unwilling to sell.

Now, with the Andalusian giants making it back into the UEFA Champions League, West Ham are unlikely to find the player or club keen to make the move happen. The Moroccan has made a huge impact for Sevilla, and has become the key forward at the club capable of delivering in the most clutch of moments. However, it is likely now that the player will stick around for at least one more season in Seville. As such, West Ham might need to recalibrate their targets.

Can West Ham sign a marquee striker this summer?

The challenge for West Ham is twofold: teams know they need a forward, so want huge sums. At the same time, most strikers who West Ham want are likely to be playing in the UEFA Champions League for their current teams. Is the allure of London and the Premier League enough to really make these players move on from their current position?

At the moment, some of the names most realistically linked with the Hammers include Tammy Abraham. The Chelsea academy boy is frozen out of the picture at the club, and looks almost certain to move on from the Blues in the summer. Having shown he can finish at top-flight level and desperate to get regular gametime, he might offer West Ham the ideal solution to their lack of forward opportunities at present.

He would also provide them with a player who is keen to make a mark. When Moyes first returned, the Scot made a virtue of making sure that the players West Ham were bringing in were ambitious. Too many previous signings arrived for the lack of pressure and the money – Moyes, in contrast, wants hunger in his new players.

That hunger is something Abraham could show in abundance. With so many other names that were previously linked either not for sale or unlikely to be truly interested in a move to the Hammers, could Moyes and his coaching team have to get smart with their striker selection in the 2021 transfer window? At present, it definitely looks that way.

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