There has been a buzz around West Ham United this summer and it is easy to see why after a progressive 2015-16 and the move to the London Stadium.
Much of the talk around Slaven Bilic’s men has been the pursuit of a new high-profile striker to lead the club forward into a new era and take the team to the next level.
Although countless names have been mentioned as West Ham targets, failed attempts to land Alexandre Lacazette, Michy Batshuayi, Callum Wilson and Carlos Bacca have all been confirmed in recent months.
Jonathan Calleri’s 12-month loan stint will give Bilic another option to lead the line, but I can’t help thinking that a perfect solution for the Clarets was available, proven but overlooked.
Alan Pardew is having a medical at Crystal Palace after bidding £32m for Liverpool's Christian Benteke. pic.twitter.com/KjpOXrj181
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) August 18, 2016
Christian Benteke is on the verge of sealing a move to Crystal Palace for a reported £27 million fee, bringing a forgettable solitary season at Liverpool to a close.
However, despite being linked to the Belgian number nine, West Ham do not appear to have made an offer for him – but why?
Certainly Benteke’s reputation has taken a dent over the last 12 months after his switch to Anfield did not materialise.
But, the old adage that form is temporary and class is permanent remains.
In his days at Aston Villa, the former Genk forward proved that he had what it took to score consistently in the Premier League and for a team devoid of much attacking inspiration no less.
Can someone tell me why a team like Palace can pay 32 million 4 a player and West ham can not. WHU should be buying benteke.
— Brian Smith (@BrianSm36998314) August 18, 2016
Over the space of three seasons at Villa Park, Benteke netted 42 goals – despite suffering a serious injury in this time.
Nineteen goals in his debut campaign where followed by 10 and 13 respectively in the following campaigns.
Palace have signed Benteke. What we doing lads?? @WestHamUtd
— Dan (@DanielJuddWHU) August 19, 2016
By way of comparison, West Ham’s best striking option, Andy Carroll, has not hit double figures in the Premier League since 2010-11 and lacks the pace and clinical ability of the Belgian.
The focus this summer for West Ham has seemingly been to land a striker from the continent – someone exotic and with a reputation abroad.
However, if it was the Clarets penning a deal to land Benteke, not Palace, the Hammers would look like a much more dangerous proposition this term.