Diafra Sakho's proposed £16 million move from West Ham to West Brom has fallen through. Who should the Baggies sign instead?
Diafra Sakho won't be signing for West Brom this summer
The transfer of West Ham striker Diafra Sakho to Premier League rivals West Brom is off, after the player took his medical test at the Hawthorns. According to Sky Sports, the Senegal international did not officially fail the medical test, but because it was clear that the player would not be able to reach match fitness before the start of the coming season, Albion decided to pull the plug on the deal. This leaves the Baggies perhaps looking at alternative options to pursue in place of Sakho, and here are three attackers on the continent that the club should consider.
1. Islam Slimani
Sporting's Slimani celebrates a goal against Braga.
West Brom might be interested to hear that this man is reportedly very keen to move to the Premier League, according to Sky Sports, and there is apparently no shortage of interest in the 28-year-old Algerian. The player has rejected an offer of a new contract at Sporting Lisbon this summer, and claimed that the club had given him assurances that he would be allowed to leave in this transfer window, following his outstanding performances last season.
With 27 goals in 33 league appearances last year, he's clearly a player with an eye for goal, and has the physical stature to cope with the Premier League. His club Sporting are yet to offer any suggestion as to what price would be acceptable in order for the club to sell Slimani, but with widespread interest in the striker, West Brom would have to act swiftly in order to secure a signature.
2. Simone Zaza
Juventus' Simone Zaza acknowledges the Juventus fans.
Zaza is a forward who has been on the radar of Premier League clubs for a couple of seasons now. Having burst onto the scene with impressive performances at Sassuolo, he has found first-team opportunities limited at Juventus.
A versatile striker with clinical finishing ability, Zaza would also be pretty highly coveted by a number of clubs across Europe if Juventus were looking to sell. Would the player be willing to swap the the black-and-white stripes of the Old Lady for the navy-and-white of West Bromwich Albion?
Zaza suits the Premier League, and might like the idea of being the main number nine at Albion rather than understudy as he has been at Juventus. Whether or not manager Tony Pulis would want to splash the big cash on a relatively unproven player remains to be seen.
3. Lucas Pérez
Pérez tussles with Atletico's Diego Godin
A player who isn't receiving as many headlines currently as Slimani or Zaza, but one who was the subject of interest earlier on this summer from current Premier League champions Leicester, according to the Guardian.
The rapid rise of Pérez from the bottom half of the Ukrainian Premier League to impressing in La Liga with Deportivo La Coruña in just two years has been meteoric, and the player insists that his best football is yet to come. The striker is of course yet to prove that his success last season is not a flash in the pan, but this transfer would be a cheaper one for Albion than deals for Slimani or Zaza.
At 27 he still has time on his side, and has more pace to his game than the other two strikers mentioned previously, an attribute that never goes amiss in the Premier League. A signing from left-field, but could Pulis be tempted at an estimated price of around £15 million?
The transfer deal for Sakho may have fallen through, but there are still plenty of striking options available to West Brom, on home soil and across the continent. It is now up to the Albion scouts to ensure that they get the right man to carry the team's goal-scoring responsibility this year, and hopefully propel the Baggies up the Premier League table.