This week saw West Ham join the race to sign highly rated Montpelier striker Steve Mounie. The forward who’s goals helped his side stave off relegation from Ligue 1 this season is one of three the club are interested in.
From the injury problems to Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho last season it is clear that the club need to assess their attacking options. If rumours are the be believed they are interested in some quality additions already. The Hammers have been linked to two forwards this summer in the shape of Kelechi Iheanacho and Michy Batshuayi. Bringing in a proven Premier League goal scorer will be a vast improvement on the loan business which saw Jonathan Calleri and Simone Zaza join the club last summer. With the injuries to the first choice forwards and the two loanies failing to impress the club was seriously lacking a goal threat. That is where they are hoping to bring in Mounie to give more versatility up front.
There are a number of clubs who are interested in the 22 year-old Montpellier forward with rivals Watford and West Brom being among them. Mounie would be a cheaper than both Iheanacho and Batshuayi and would cost the club around £13 million. If a deal were to be agreed, what can the Hammers fans expect?
At 6’3″ the Benin international is very much in the mould of Carroll. Top scoring for Montpellier with 15 goals in 38 appearances last season is a decent return for a side towards the bottom of the Ligue 1 table. A goal in every 2.5 games is a better strike rate than that of Carroll who scored 7 in 22 appearances (1 per 3.14 games) during his injury hit campaign. Mounie is a strong and physical player who can compete well in the air. Seven of his goals last season were scored using his head so there would not be a need to adjust the style of play much from when using Carroll. He can compete well in the air also winning 8.4 aerial duels per 90 minutes last season vs 4.5 lost. When we compare this to Carroll the English man comes out on top winning 9.1 duels per 90, but having played 1,500 minutes less during the season.
From a statistical point of view he looks to be a good prospect to handle the physically of the Premier League and at £13 million would not be such a gamble. With other interested parties however the Hammers may face a bidding war in order to sign the player.