When it comes to a football team, there’s no question that one of the positions where there has to be some depth is the striker position. Every team has at least 3-4 strikers in case one of them gets injured, someone else can get the job done or to come out of the bench to try and score a goal to rescue points, win a match or win titles.
However there’s one manager that loves to have small squads, that manager is David Moyes. Unlike his competitors, David Moyes only has Michail Antonio as striker in his squad, a decision that many fans don’t like knowing that there’ll be a time where Michail Antonio will get injured, and problems would soon arrive.
At the time of writing there hasn’t been any official offer made for a striker from West Ham other than the rejected loan offer for Flamengo’s Gabriel Barbosa which can only mean one thing, David Moyes doesn’t see the problem many fans see and therefore Michail Antonio will be the only striker in the squad until the end of the season. If Antonio get’s injured, what can Moyes do without a natural striker at the squad?
Since Sebastien Haller’s departure to Ajax last winter the only striker available in the squad has been Michail Antonio. Although there have been times where Jarrod Bowen has played at the striker position, playing him up front would result on a huge loss on the wings where chances are normally created. Another possible solution for the striker problem could be playing with a false-nine. During his time at the Spanish National Team, Vicente del Bosque played Cesc Fabregas as a false-nine or in other words, playing striker less. David Moyes could study how the false-nine on Del Bosque’s teams worked and then try to shape it up to his preferences resulting on a viable option that could improve the squad.
The most obvious option is to sign another striker which many fans want. There have been many names available but there hasn’t been an offer for any of them. First off Anthony Martial who is looking to leave Manchester United for playing time could be a great fit for the squad with a similar play style to Michail Antonio, he’s fast, strong and can finish with ease, however it seems that Sevilla are going to get the Frenchman on loan until the end of the season. Talking about Sevilla another great option would be Youssef En-Nesyri, a player that David Moyes loves but hasn’t been able to get the striker due to Sevilla rejecting all offers sent. With 8 days left for the end of the transfer market, could a striker join the Hammers at least until the end of the season?
David Moyes’ favourite option which would cost nothing to the team is playing U-23’s striker Sonny Perkins in case Michail Antonio gets injured. The 17-year-old striker has already made his debut with the first team but has yet to score his first goal with the hammers. A very physical, agile, and vertical striker, Sonny Perkins is somewhat different to Haller and Antonio. His clinical finishing makes him a great striker but his speed and runs make him even better. Surprisingly, Sonny wasn’t a striker until last season, but his intelligence has helped him get into the first team in less than a year. Having made him debut this season against Rapid Vienna, David Moyes could soon get his “winter transfer signing” in the form of the talented England international.
In conclusion, whatever David Moyes does is what he thinks is the most beneficial for the team, in this case it looks like he will trust the academy and play Sonny Perkins if Michail Antonio gets injured which fits perfect with West Ham’s philosophy of developing players until they reach the first team, we have had Declan Rice at the midfield who is an academy graduate, why not do the same with Sonny Perkins and give him the confidence he needs.