Suddenly, the feel-good factor around West Ham United has been dissipated somewhat. A 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Oxford United in the EFL Cup will do that.
While the Hammers were enduring the most miserable night of Manuel Pellegrini’s tenure with summer signing Albian Ajeti looking worryingly out of his depth against third-tier opposition, Maxi Gomez set about showing the sort of clinical finishing he very nearly brought to the London Stadium.
It is no secret that West Ham wanted to sign the Uruguayan international from Celta Vigo. According to Sky Sports, the capital club had a £29 million bid accepted but, as the deal stalled, Valencia moved in and nabbed this old-school number nine from under Pellegrini’s nose.
And, to make matters worse, Gomez is already following scoring goals for fun in the famous white shirt. He took his tally to three in five La Liga games with a clinical brace against Getafe in a thrilling midweek draw.
The 23-year-old scored the goal of the game, perhaps of the season, when he fired a brilliant overhead kick in off the post. A towering bullet header in the second half, meanwhile, was trademark Gomez.
This was as close as you can get to the classic centre-forward performance from West Ham’s one that got away while Ajeti drowned in a sea of yellow at the Kassam Stadium.
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