West Ham’s interest in Rudy Gestede suggests Sam Allardyce is set to stay

West Ham are reportedly keen on signing Blackburn’s Rudy Gestede this summer.

According to the Daily Mail, the Hammers are looking at bringing Gestede to the Premier League, having netted 20 goals in 39 Championship games for Blackburn this season.

That is a commendable tally, and it has been the real breakthrough season for the 26-year-old forward, who has never managed to set English football alight with his form since arriving at Cardiff in 2011.

However, Gestede has found a team in Blackburn who play to his strengths, and his goal tally has been the silver lining on a very good personal season for him.

Playing alongside Jordan Rhodes, Gestede has used his noticeable height and physical abilities to overcome a number of opposition, and he has proven to be far better when the ball is in the air than when on the floor.

This is the kind of player whom Sam Allardyce has always shown an interest in, although at the beginning of this campaign, it appeared as if he was changing his philosphopy to a more ball-playing, attacking style.

This system worked well for the Hammers at the start of the campaign, although recent changes back to a target-man system have seen the East London club fall to just three victories in 2015.

Many expect Allardyce to leave the club this summer when his contract expires, to ensure that the Hammers retain their on-the-ball style, but Gestede does not play into that system, and targeting him suggests that West Ham are keen on keeping Allardyce - and staying as a long-ball team.

Gestede won 9.2 aerial duels per game this season, 2.1 more than any other player in the Championship. Blackburn played to his strengths, and his one-dimensional talents were utilised amazingly well by Gary Bowyer’s men.

It appeared as if the likely departure of Allardyce this summer would usher in a new era at the Boleyn Ground, far removed from the 60-year-old coach’s reliable long-ball system.

However, the club are targeting Gestede, who is the ultimate long-ball player, and maybe that suggests that Allardyce will get another contract in East London, and will continue his philosophy way into the future.

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