West Ham United opted against dipping into the market to add a recognised, senior, centre-forward to their playing squad during the summer transfer window. The Hammers allowed Gianluca Scamacca to depart to Atalanta and, instead of replacing him, went into the season with Michail Antonio and Danny Ings as their two number nine options.
They have scored two Premier League goals between them so far this season, both of which have come from Antonio, in a combined 19 appearances. If reports are to be believed, the Hammers are now looking to the January transfer window to add further firepower to their attacking arsenal for the second half of the campaign.
West Ham transfer news – Kelechi Iheanacho
According to TEAMtalk, West Ham and David Moyes are now showing an interest in Leicester City centre-forward Kelechi Iheanacho ahead of the turn of the year.
The report claims that fellow Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Brentford are also eyeing up the Nigeria international as a possible target to improve their respective frontlines.
It is stated that he is out of contract at the end of the season and that the Foxes are keen to tie him down to an extension to avoid losing his services for nothing.
However, they have not made any tangible progress on that front and, as it stands, he will be a free agent next summer. This could play into West Ham’s hands in January as they could swoop in to offer Leicester a chance to rake in some money for the EFL gem.
Is Iheanacho better than Antonio and Ings?
The former Manchester City marksman has enjoyed a strong start to the 2023/24 campaign, showcasing his goalscoring ability with six goals in 17 appearances in all competitions. In the Championship, the left-footed finisher has plundered an impressive five goals and one assist in seven starts for Enzo Maresca’s league leaders.
However, his form in the second tier is not the only reason that Moyes may be interested in his services, though, as the Nigerian ace has also displayed his quality at Premier League level in the past.
Last season, the “incredible” – as he was once dubbed by ex-boss Brendan Rodgers – dynamo produced five goals and five assists in 11 top-flight starts for Leicester. That came after a return of four goals and five assists in 13 starts throughout the 2021/22 campaign.
His knack for finding the back of the net was on full display during the 2020/21 season too, as Iheanacho racked up 12 goals and two assists in 16 Premier League starts. These statistics suggest that the Foxes star could be an excellent addition to West Ham’s squad as their striker options have failed to deliver consistent quality.
Last season, Antonio was the club’s top-scoring number nine with just five league strikes, alongside three assists, in 21 starts for the Hammers. This means that he has managed seven goals and five assists in his last 32 league starts since the beginning of the 2022/23 campaign.
Whereas, Iheanacho managed nine goals and ten assists in his last 24 top-flight starts for Leicester throughout his last two seasons at that level, and could offer more than the Jamaica international at the top end of the pitch.