Three alternatives for West Brom should they miss out on Benteke

West Brom manager Tony Pulis before the match

With a number of clubs expressing an interest in Christian Benteke, who could West Brom sign should they miss out on the Belgian? Everton, Stoke and West Ham players feature.

 

With clubs looking to bolster their attacking options as the new Premier League season approaches, who should West Bromwich Albion look to if they fail to lure Liverpool’s Christian Benteke to the club?

Here, we take a look at three Premier League forwards struggling to break into the first-teams at Stoke, West Ham and Everton.

Mame Biram Diouf

Stoke's Mame Biram Diouf celebrates scoring their second goal

                                        Stoke's Mame Biram Diouf celebrates scoring their second goal

The Senegalese striker is the first option in West Brom's search for an alternative to Benteke. Diouf signed for Stoke in 2014 and has struggled in the Premier League, scoring just 16 times in 60 appearances.

This is in stark contrast to his form at his previous club Hannover 96, where he was averaging just under a goal every two games (26 goals in 57 appearances).

Diouf is a player of immense power and pace. At his best when he is chasing a ball that has been played in behind the defence, the forward has added good finishing to his game, making him a well rounded attacker.

He is also a huge threat in the air. At 6 feet and 1 inch, Diouf is able to combine being fairly tall with his fantastic jumping ability which invariably end with him making contact with any crosses played close to him.

Where he does struggle is with scoring consistently. He is an undeniably talented player, however, five goals in 26 appearances last season have made it difficult for him to hold down a permanent place in the Stoke team. Perhaps a switch to West Brom will reignite his form with his ability in the air perfectly suiting West Brom's eagerness to cross the ball into the box.        

Enner Valencia  

                        Enner Valencia celebrates scoring the second goal for West Ham                                       Enner Valencia celebrates scoring the second goal for West Ham

Enner Valencia would be a stellar signing for West Brom should they take him away from West Ham. The 26-year-old signed for the Hammers in 2014 and has, so far, struggled to force his way into the first team, scoring just eight times in 51 appearances.

He has so far been unable to replicate the form he showed at Mexican side Pachuca where he scored 18 goals in 23 appearances.

The Ecuador forward is a very pacey customer with his ability to spot gaps in the defence and then to exploit them a particular strength.

He is also a handful to deal with in the box with his finishing on both his feet and head proving particularly potent. However, much like Diouf, Valencia struggles for consistency. He only found the net four times last season and struggled to find a regular starting place in the team.

A change of scenery may do him good then, while he also will benefit from the fact that no player has yet grabbed the tag of starting striker at West Brom.

Arouna Kone 

Arouna Kone celebrates scoring the fifth goal for Everton in the 6-2 win over Sunderland                      Arouna Kone celebrates scoring the fifth goal for Everton in the 6-2 win over Sunderland

The Ivory Coast international is another player that could fit the bill at West Brom. A fine finisher and a physical presence in the box, Kone has struggled to break into the first team at Everton since the arrival of Romelu Lukaku.

While at Everton, Kone has scored six times in 42 appearances, while at Wigan he found the net 11 times in 34 games.

As previously mentioned, Kone has struggled for game time and, at 32-years-old, must now look to play first team football week in week out with his time growing short. This could be achieved at West Brom with the likes of Saido Berahino and Salomon Rondon not nailing down their starting place.

Kone is perhaps not the best alternative to Benteke with the Belgian holding all the same skills as Kone, but being younger and more talented. If Kone is to be West Brom’s next transfer target then, like Jelavic, he would not be a long-term investment.

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