Reports on Monday that West Ham United are considering transfer moves for a trio of high-profile Premier League stars may not go down too well with Andre Ayew.
The Hammers are understood to be hopeful of signing at least one of Arsenal duo Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, while they remain interested in Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, who’s been linked with a move to East London since before the season ended.
After an underwhelming transfer window a year ago, and a season where Slaven Bilic’s side failed to achieve the progress they’d been aiming for, it’s imperative that the Irons get it right this summer.
Clearly, if the rumour mill is anything to go by, they’re aiming a lot higher than they did last year, when the signings of Manuel Lanzini, Arthur Masuaku, Simone Zaza, Jonathan Calleri, Gokhan Tore and Sofiane Feghoui were—at best—hit and miss.
Walcott perhaps hasn’t realised his progress as hoped, but the England international remains a dangerous operator who knows his way around the Premier League.
Giroud, arguably underused or misused by Arsene Wenger in recent seasons, still managed to bag 12 goals last season, despite managing only 11 Premier League starts.
As for Iheanacho, it’s intriguing that Pep Guardiola doesn’t seem to trust the Nigerian despite his eye-catching goals-to-minutes ratio.
The trio have the quality to transform the look of West Ham’s forward line, while the club’s owners will surely be expecting such a significant investment to take their side to the next level. The addition of Pablo Zabaleta—another player with a proven track record at a major club—is further evidence that they’re aiming their sights at a higher prize.
It all makes for an uncertain future for Ayew, as while he’s ahead of a few other players in the pecking order, the likes of Andy Carroll, January signing Robert Snodgrass, Diafra Sakho and many of the aforementioned names make for hefty competition.
In comparison to some of his rivals, there’s reason for Ayew to be cautiously optimistic after his maiden season at the London Stadium.
The first half of his campaign was ravaged by an injury suffered on his debut against Chelsea, but after returning from the Nations Cup in February, he began to prove that he has the class to be one of the team’s star men.
He ended the year with six goals and three assists in 25 outings, with all but one of those goals coming since the New Year.
Should West Ham snare their trio, Ayew’s options on the right and as a centre-forward would surely be limited, although a more permanent role behind the striker—he’s surely superior to Snodgrass in this role—could help Bilic get the best out of him on a consistent basis.
Several of the Hammers’ attacking options will be concerned by these tantalising rumours, but Ayew, whose top form is still to come, should be excited about the higher quality of talent that he may well have around him next term.