During the past week or so, attention has focused on the memorable FA Cup win over Liverpool, transfer issues relating to Dimi Payet and speculation over how we may finish in the Premier League as the last big challenges in March and April approach.
It is of interest to note some of the news emerging from the thoughts of our chairmen, particularly relating to potential signings in the summer.
To date, two important issues seem to have emerged. The first is a statement that much of our transfer kitty was spent over the last summer. In relation to our limited spending funds for the 2016 transfer window, there have been sufficient hints and rumours to suggest that our club may limit their business to a single marquee signing, preferably a striker.
The first and most notable targets, appears to be a strong move to gain the services of Michy Batshuayi of Marseille. So let us examine the pros and cons of a potential £20m offer for the services of this exciting young prospect.
In terms of assessing a potential centre-forward, there are certain attributes which are of particular importance. Ideally, one would prefer a player who is equally comfortable on either foot. Ideally, possession of a strong shot should be associated with clever positioning, one-strike finishing, and a really strong presence on the ball.
Dribbling prowess is a particularly admirable characteristic for a central striker; can the player slice his way in and out of on-coming defenders and create his own chances?
Strong agility and balance will translate into a higher scoring potential, as we have seen with Jamie Vardy’s efforts with Leicester City. An ability to be good in the air may not be mandatory, but very, very useful. Put all these characteristics into the proverbial melting pot, and you will create an individual who plays beautifully.
After a detailed and exhaustive examination of the football literature, I am almost beyond words to describe the potential of Michy Batshuayi. In addition to meeting all of the desired requirements described above, he has youth and an apparent injury-free record to add to his appeal.
I very rarely put heavy emphasis on the merits of an individual in what, after all, is a team game. However, the terms exceptional circumstances/player/situation have drifted into the West ham vernacular in recent times. They come into sharp focus when considering the potential of Michy Batshuayi.
In many ways, he reminds me of the great Eusebio, considered by most experts as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. One additional feature in his play is the ability to play the fabulous ‘elastico’/flip-flap manoeuvre, first invented by the great Brazilian Rivelino and seen more recently with Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. He has shown all the attributes to reach such lofty heights, assuming that a number of factors favour his future, most of which are under his own control.
Although he has just signed a new contract with his present team, we have become accustomed to the situation where sufficiently attractive financial offers can over-ride so-called permanent deals.
The reality is that come the summer, many offers will be made from some of the best teams in Europe. From our perspective, I suspect it may be a long time until we will find another player with such enormous potential.
Let us hope that the chance to meet up with his old team-mate, Dimitri Payet, and playing at the magnificent Olympic Stadium, may make West Ham a more attractive option than offers from other well known London clubs.
Perhaps this is one of those exceptional circumstances where we should go all out to secure the services of a player of such phenomenal potential.
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