[dropcap]W[/dropcap]est Ham chairman David Sullivan claimed a few months ago that the club was hoping to sign a striker who can score 20 goals a season. For this purpose, he stated that West Ham were ready to spend as much as £25 million on a single player. It seemed like a bold call given that the club’s net transfer spend in the last few transfer windows had not been beyond £30 million. Of course, there was new money coming into the club in the form of increased TV revenue, but not enough to sign a £30 million the player without intervention from the owners.
Fast forward to one week before the end of the summer transfer window and West Ham have once again had a net spend of just over £30 million. The club may have just broken the transfer record bringing in Andre Ayew from Swansea for £20.5 million, but they have been able to bring in a lot of money through sales. James Tomkins has been the high-profile exit from West Ham and his transfer to Crystal Palace has brought in £10 million. Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku have been the other key signings at the club in the summer. They have cost a combined £16 million.
Spending £30 million in the summer may not be such a bad thing if this was the same West Ham that struggled for a top-10 finish a few years ago. Instead, a top 10 finish last season has changed the dynamics at the club. West Ham almost qualified for the Champions League, as they were in the race with top guns like Manchester City and Manchester United going into the final few games.
Fans realised that the core of the team was starting to take shape under Slaven Bilic. The presence of goal scorers like Andy Carroll had made a difference. As West Ham finished seventh in the table, there was a small reality check. West Ham did not have the squad strength to go the distance.
Andy Carroll is a great goal scorer but his fitness record leaves a lot to be desired. If West Ham do not spend money now, they risk pushed aside by other clubs like Crystal Palace. Liverpool recently rejected a £30 million offer from Crystal Palace for Christian Benteke. West Ham fans will want to see the same kind of ambition from their club too. It is time for the owners to back their words and spend money.