Jelavic started his first game for West Ham on Sunday in the 0-0 draw with Swansea, and Ian Wright reacted to his performance on BBC Radio 5 Live’s 606 show by making his feelings about the Croatian striker known.
Wright said: “I saw him at Rangers and he looked pretty sharp, and then he went to Everton and had this little flurry [of goalscoring]. I don’t see too much pace, too much skill or too much power in the air, and he doesn’t hold it up particularly well. In the current climate, the West Ham fans need a lot more than Nikica Jelavic. He’s nicked a couple of moves off the back of that little blue spell at Everton, and he’s very lucky that he’s ended up at West Ham.”
Jelavic linked up with the Hammers over the summer transfer window, signing from Championship side Hull City following their relegation to the second tier.
He had been granted a substitute role for much of the season, and has resisted two assists, and Slaven Bilic gave Jelavic his first start of the campaign on Sunday.
He was selected with Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll out of action, but he did little in his 90 mi ute appearance to suggest that he will become the Hammers’ first-choice forward any time soon.
He looked static in the final third, and offered little threat as the main attacking outlet for the side. He even only won three aerial duels, despite his main strength being his strength with his head.
Wright certainly made it clear that he does not hold Jelavic in high regard, believing that his entire Premier League career has been rooted in a short spell of good form he enjoyed with Everton.
He arrived at the Boleyn Ground in the summer as nothing more than a back-up striker for the Hammers, but it is hard to suggest that he has not been a flop under Bilic in East London.