As a huge 16-year-old football fan, seeing my team go from one of the worst in the Premier League under Avram Grant, and then only going on to get promoted back to the top-flight via the playoffs (an amazing day at Wembley) and now to be challenging for European football has been incredible.
This means we’re now able to attract some of the best players across Europe instead of having to settle for ageing has-beens and bang average players.
After seeing a post on twitter last week saying that a Chinese club is willing to pay up to £13.5million for Enner Valencia, all I could think of is how we would potentially only be paying £10-£20 million for a high quality striker like Michy Batshuayi or Alexandre Lacazette.
This season Lacazette has scored 21 goals in 33 appearances for Lyon, whereas Batshuayi has scored 17 in 32. Both strikers have very good goal scoring records, while Batshuayi is two years younger than Lacazette, which could perhaps command a higher transfer fee.
From what I’ve seen of Batshuayi, he seems to be a similar style of attacker to Diafra Sakho – surely we want someone who offers something different?
Alexandre Lacazette is that man, his raw pace and lethal finishing would make him an amazing signing for West Ham. He is a completely different striker to anyone with have, and as a partner for Andy Carroll or coming off of the bench to frighten defenders with his pace and dribbling, he can offer so much to West Ham next season.
Lacazette is also likely to be a much cheaper signing than Batshuayi, this is because of the upcoming European Championships in Lacazette’s native France.
Batshuayi has been selected for the Belgium squad, but Lacazette has only made the reserves for the France squad. This means that he is unlikely to go to the tournament and therefore his transfer value will be lower.
According to Transfermarkt.com, Lacazette is worth £22.5million. This is a reasonable figure for a proven goalscorer, and if Batshuayi plays well at the Euros his value is likely to increase significantly and attract attention from clubs with Champions League football.
Lacazette is a much more versatile forward than Batshuayi, too. He can change a game for West Ham as he can play on the left, right, or through the middle. West Ham need that kind of attacking versatility as we have two strikers in Carroll and Sakho who can only play through the middle. And then there’s Enner Valencia, who struggles to play anywhere.
Valencia has only performed well in two games since he signed after the World Cup two seasons ago. He played well against Hull in 2014, and Bournemouth earlier this campaign. Other than that he has been on par with Modibo Maiga as the worst striker to put on a West Ham shirt in the last three years.
As a marquee signing Lacazette could be considered a bargain as he scored more last week, grabbing a hat-trick in a 6-1 romp of Monaco, than Olivier Giroud (who was selected for Euro 2016 ahead of Lacazette) has in the last 16 games for the weekend just gone. Giroud had only scored two before netting a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Additionlay, as Lacazette is an international teammate of Dimitri Payet, he could be used to tempt Lacazette to the Olympic Stadium. It’s no secret that West Ham fans love an exciting player, and Lacazette certainly excites the fans of Lyon.
Hopefully, in a few months, he will be exciting the fans in Stratford instead. A prolific goal scorer is what we need, and in my opinion he is the man to take us forward and take us into the second season in the Olympic stadium with Champions League football and a great goal scoring record in the Premier League.