West Ham United wanted a striker this summer. That much cannot be disputed.
But after wasting so much of the club’s hard earned cash on underperforming, overpriced players like Sebastien Haller (£45 million), Felipe Anderson (£34 million) and Andre Ayew (£20 million), it seems some valuable lessons have been learned.
Better late than never, we reckon.
While West Ham did think long and hard about signing Paul Onuachu before September’s transfer deadline – David Moyes himself reportedly instructed namesakes Gold and Sullivan to make a bid for the Nigeria international – Genk’s £22 million price-tag soon kyboshed any hopes the striker had of following in the footsteps of Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Moses and Victor Obinna.
Will Paul Onuachu show West Ham what they’re missing?
According to Voetbal Belgie, Onuachu was keen on joining the club who finished within touching distance of a Champions League place last season.
But while West Ham wanted attacking reinforcements – they have never really replaced Haller eight months since his return to the Netherlands – the Hammers had no interest in paying the £22 million Genk wanted.
And so, a Mexican stand-off ensued.
West Ham wouldn’t pay up, Genk wouldn’t drop their price and, in the end, no guns were fired, no bids were made and no transfer happened.
Next month’s UEFA Europa League group-stage clash between West Ham and Genk at the London Stadium, then, promises to be intriguing indeed; a gleaming, golden opportunity for Onuachu, all 6ft 7ins of him, to show West Ham what they are missing, what Moyes could have had.
Onuachu fired Genk to Belgian Cup glory last season with a career-best 35 goals last term and has begun the new campaign in similar style, netting a fifth in nine games during Thursday’s 1-0 win at Rapid Vienna.
Onuachu will be desperate to enhance that tally, too, when Genk touch down in the English capital five weeks from now.