West Ham Opinion: Why West Ham should make a move for Josef Martinez
While Marko Arnautovic was heavily linked with a move to China over the winter, somehow Manuel Pellegrini got the West Ham striker to sign an extension. But that in itself adds more trouble for the club, as it added £45 million release clause (Times) which was the transfer fee (Daily Mail) offered to the Hammers.
This does mean that a move in the summer could potentially occur, if not definitely. That also gives the Hammers more problems. If the Serbian does make the move, it leaves the club with only Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez as striker options (Football London).
To make things worse, both the strikers have been linked with moves away, with Carroll’s current deal expiring at the end of the season. While this does represent a problem, it can be solved by throwing money around.
Links with the likes of Maxi Gomez (Football London), Krzysztof Piatek (Football London), Duvan Zapata (Calciomercato) and even Michy Batshauyi (Football London), have all emerged. That means that it’s fair to say that West Ham are not short of options to replace Arnautovic.
Yet, one man the Hammers should be looking towards is Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez. The 25-year-old has had a world-class season in the MLS, breaking the single-season scoring record with 31 goals. Not only that, but the Venezuelan has also contributed with 5 assists.
The former Torino striker struggled during his spell in Italy’s top tier, never managing more than 5 goals in a single season. However, despite all his struggles in one of Europe’s top five leagues, Martinez is perfect for the Hammers due to his
He is a strong dribbler as well, despite his 5’7” frame. His size has never stopped him and while it could pose a slight problem in the Premier League, the Venezuelan’s work-ethic and strength will make up for that.
Few strikers did more work defensively than Martinez last season and that’s something Manuel Pellegrini likes in a forward. What makes him deadlier is his movement in the final third.
That is where his speed and agility come into use, but Martinez combines that with brilliant spatial intelligence. It allows him to find space in tight areas inside the box, something that the Hammers desperately need.
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Whether or not West Ham United lose Marko Arnautovic, the Hammers still need another and possibly more reliable striker. The Austrian is far from consistent and has been injury-prone. Adding someone as talented as Josef Martinez will provide the club with another option up front.