Sometime in late 2015, Slaven Bilic, expressed his attitude concerning signings in the January transfer period.
He made it clear that signings would only be considered in exceptional circumstances. A number of unexpected issues concerning the present/future state of our strikers may well present a case that West Ham may well be in a state of exceptional concern.
Earlier in the season, at the best of times, we could boast a collection of five strikers; Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia, Mauro Zarate, Andy Carroll, and Nikica Jelavic.
However, following our 2-1 loss to Newcastle, the situation remains very tenuous. Diafra Sakho is still out, and while he may make a return in early March, there are concerns relating to his overall musculoskeletal stability.
Andy Carroll, having regrettably sustained yet another injury, is also unavailable. Given his long list of serious injuries, his future also hangs in the balance.
Mauro Zarate could play a very important role teaming up with Enner Valencia to form a useful striking pair, with the support of Dimitri Payet as an offensive playmaker. However, we have seen little of Mauro in recent weeks; supposedly he picked up a slight calf strain during a training episode, but did not even appear on the team bench in our last game.
There is strong speculation that Zarate, starved of playing time in favour of Andy Carroll, may be involved with a transfer to Malaga CF within the next few weeks, where he would be likely to get regular game time.
Thus the situation concerning Zarate suddenly takes on a critical nature. In his absence we would only have Nikica Jelavic as our second striker. During this uncertain period, it may be realistic for Bilic to consider this to be a time of exceptional circumstances.
Should Slav still remain confident of FA Cup glory and a possible finish in the top six/sevent, then it is imperative that we attain the services of a top class striker within the next week or so.
Mario Balotelli at West Ham?
In the last few weeks, there has been strong speculation that West Ham are keen on secure the services of Mario Balotelli, presently on loan at AC Milan from Liverpool, though many people in the know have since rubbished such rumours.
Still, let’s examine the qualities of the player anyway; agile, quick and powerful, Balotelli is credited with pace, strength, and technical ability, but criticised for a perceived poor and immature attitude at times.
The Italian is also a set-piece specialist, and is regarded by teammates and the media as a promising but undisciplined player. He is seen as one of the best penalty takers in world football, a view backed by Joe Hart.
He has the uncanny ability to convert half-chances into goals anywhere within in the penalty area. He has a fabulous facility to strike a volley, half-volley with any part of his foot and, in addition, is powerful in the air.
Could a possible move to West Ham provide an opportunity to overcome his numerous personal insecurities?
I believe so, but if it were to be go in for him an be successful, our club should make the initial approach to Balotelli in helping convince him that West Ham have the social support to provide him with a secure environment in which he can flourish.
A delegate consisting of David Gold, Slaven Bilic, Mark Noble, and a few players like, Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang, and Michail Antonio, could organise a special meeting with Balotelli, explaining all the benefits that a West Ham move could provide for him.
I believe that a meeting in person would help him dismiss any previous stereotyped issues he has formed about playing football in England.
The thoughts of playing regular football at the Olympic Stadium with a club he feels is growing into a major force, may suddenly feel very appealing to him. Assuming that Slaven explains his ‘clean slate policy’, which he made so clear when taking over as manager last year, Balotelli has every chance of settling in quickly and comfortably to an ethic which he has respect for.
I believe that the outcome could be a ‘win-win’ for both player and club alike. Lets’ go for it! This guy is well worth the effort involved.
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