With West Ham United set to seal the £12 million signing of Pachuca striker Enner Valencia, Stewart Downing is excited about the Ecuadorian’s imminent arrival.
The 25-year-old scored all three of his country’s goals at the World Cup this summer, as he earned numerous plaudits despite the side’s failure to make it out of their group.
Having struggled to replace the injury-hit Andy Carroll last season, with the England international restricted to just 15 Premier League appearances, manager Sam Allardyce has been on the lookout for help up front this summer, and Downing believes that the addition of Valencia is just what the club need.
‘We can't rely on Andy all season,’ Sky Sports quotes him as saying. ‘He was the big signing last season, but Andy struggled with injuries so hopefully the new signings will take the pressure off him a little bit.
‘And from what I've seen of Valencia against England, he looks a very good player. He can nick a goal and it is competition for places. It's what we've needed as we didn't have that last season.’
With seven goals in 13 international matches, Valencia was also the top scorer during the 2014 Liga MX Clausura, netting 12 times in 17 games, and arrives with a reputation as one of the deadliest finishers in Mexico.
Set to be West Ham’s fifth summer signing, with Argentine forward Mauro Zarate already arriving from Velez Sarsfield to try to ease the goalscoring burden, the strong and versatile frontman could also be used out wide on the right, as the club look to improve upon last season’s underwhelming 13th-place finish.