West Ham United had a disappointing campaign last season, and whilst the hierarchy asked manager Sam Allardyce to incorporate a more attractive brand of football, they backed him heavily in the transfer market. 'Big Sam' splashed the cash as Carl Jenkinson, Cheikhou Kouyate, Aaron Creswell, Alex Song, Diego Poyet, Morgan Amalfitano, Mauro Zarate, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho all arrived at Upton Park, and though he snapped up three strikers, there was still one that got away.
Swiss international striker Marco Streller was a target for the Hammers, with the 33-year-old giant being the perfect target man in Allardyce's system that gave him so much success at Bolton and Blackburn. Despite their approaches, Streller turned down the move, saying he will finish his career with Basel.
"There have been in recent years repeated offers from abroad, including in the last days," Streller told Basel's official website. "After careful consideration and consultation with my family and those in charge of the FCB, I have decided to continue my career in Basel. I have big ambitions to continue to be successful with the FCB. I have given the fans a promise that I would like to finish my career in Basel, I want to keep this promise."
Despite this, speculation continues to mount that West Ham are preparing one final offer to lure the 6ft 5in striker to the Premier League, and were somewhat encouraged by quotes from his agent Marco Balmelli.
"It is true that West Ham came to see us. Maybe Marco needs a new challenge again after seven years at FC Basel. It would be like a World Cup final for him," Balmelli admitted.
If West Ham are serious about landing Streller, then they would have tuned in to last night's game between his Basel side and the Hammers' Premier League rivals Liverpool - who they dismantled almost two weeks ago. So how did Basel captain Streller fare against the Reds?
|Team||Pos||Total Flick On||Touches||Total Scoring Att||Goals||Mins|
Streller was dominant against Liverpool, scoring the only goal of the game to hand Paulo Sousa's side a surprise victory over Brendan Rodgers' men. He may have only touched the ball 36 times, but seven of those were flick on - demonstrating his aerial presence, which Allardyce will no doubt love with his direct brand of football.
With one goal from three attempts, Streller made the most of his chances and was a constant menace to the Liverpool back line - and with Andy Carroll injured and possible available for transfer in January, Streller could serve as the perfect alternative as a physically imposing target man based on his work against Liverpool on Wednesday.