West Ham facing Sakho 2.0 with Bayo swoop


West Ham United are reportedly interested in a move for Clermont striker Mohamed Bayo, as manager David Moyes seeks a new centre-forward recruit.

What’s the word?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, transfer insider Dean Jones has revealed that the 24-year-old is now their “best hope” of signing a striker this summer, with the Hammers still yet to replace club-record flop Sebastian Haller – who departed for Ajax back in January 2021.

Should West Ham sign Mohamed Bayo?

Yes

No

No

Amid reports that the east Londoners are keen on the Guinea international, Jones has shared his verdict on the current situation: “It might be more sensible because they will get better value.

“At the moment it’s sounding like Bayo is their best hope, it’s expected they’re going to be doing a lot of shopping in France this summer, they feel that is the market to be tapping into, so that’s the bracket they’re looking at.”

There had been reports back in September that the London Stadium outfit were interested in making a £10m move for the 6 foot 2 marksman, although no deal came to fruition despite further links in the winter window.

Next Diafra Sakho?

With Michail Antonio currently the only senior recognised centre-forward in Moyes’ squad, the expectation had been that the club would prioritise a new number nine this summer, with a high-profile addition likely to be what supporters are craving.

A move for Bayo, however, may not quite be the solution that the West Ham faithful are hoping for, with the French-born gem something of an unknown quantity, having only spent one season in a top division in his career thus far.

That solitary season in Ligue 1 came in the most recent campaign and while he did manage to bag an impressive 14 league goals – having hit 22 league goals in the second division the year prior – there will no doubt be concerns about his lack of top-level experience.

Having previously been believed to be eyeing a deal for Liverpool-bound Darwin Nunez back in January, turning to a relative budget option in Bayo would appear something of a step down to some, with it hard to see how the £10.8m-rated hotshot can be the man to help the Irons kick on again next term.

Such a deal would also evoke memories of the club’s £3.5m signing of Diafra Sakho back in 2014, with the striker also trading France for England after joining from Ligue 2 side Metz in 2014, having never featured in a top division prior to his move to Upton Park.


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That lack of experience mattered little initially as the Senegal international made a flying start to life with the Hammers, becoming only the second player to net in his first six Premier League games.

Unsurprisingly, he could not maintain that rampant start as he scored just four more league goals in that debut campaign, eventually going on to net just 24 goals in total across all competitions over the next three-and-a-half years, before departing for Rennes in 2018.

While far from the worst centre-forward addition of the GSB era – with Sakho’s impact having been better than most – his inability to sustain that early form showcased just how demanding life in the Premier League can be, with his lack of top-flight knowledge no doubt hampering his progress.

Although Bayo has been described as a real “handful” by journalist Andy Brassell, it is hard to see him being able to make the kind of impact that is needed for Moyes’ men, with the Sakho situation proving that transfer gambles don’t always pay off.

Of course, the Clermont man may spring a surprise if he does join the Hammers this summer, although for most supporters there will be a nagging feeling that he isn’t of the standard required.

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