The last few weeks of transfer rumour surrounding West Ham has focused on the striking crisis faced by the club. Each week it seems that the Hammers are linked to another striker and in many cases with good reason. Now with confirmation that Enner Valencia has joined Mexican club Tigres, the club would need to bring in a number of options before the season starts. There is still no definite news about Olivier Giroud but recent information is that he is considering staying with Arsenal. It is clear though that the management are keen to bring in a forward who has experience within the Premier League already after links with the French international, Man City’s Kelechi Ihenacho and Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi.
The latest discussions are that West Ham want to relight their interest in Burnley’s Andre Gray. The 26-year-old has refused to sign a new deal and has only a year remaining on his current contract at Turf Moor. There is also talk of Gray being high on the list for Everton and Newcastle, but West Ham are now front runners to sign the striker. Burnley are lining up a second bid for Nottingham Forest forward Britt Assombalonga, suggesting that they expect Gray to move on.
Gray scored 9 goals in 26 Premier League starts last season, which is a decent return for his first season in the top league. His scoring record is given a better light when you consider the fact that Burnley only scored 39 goals in the 38 league games last season, the fewest of any non-relegated side. He impressed in the first few games of last season but in August was handed a four-game ban for tweets sent back in 2012. Since returning he got back to scoring form grabbing a hat trick in Burnley’s win over Sunderland. Even for such a defensively-minded side as Burnley, Gray was still averaging 1.5 shots per game and give that he scored 9 times, this shows his clinical nature. More commonly known as an advanced forward he can also pass and had a success rate of more than 70% during last season. That puts him far above the options available to West Ham last season, only Simone Zaza came close with 69.5% from his 461 minutes.
Although Gray has had only one season at the top level he has scored goals in the Premier League and, with only one year remaining on his contract, may come at a reduced price.