Striker: Jonathan Calleri
Barring a complete U-turn, Jonathan Calleri will don West Ham’s claret and blue shirt this year, as confirmed by the man himself to ESPN earlier this week. The Argentine striker will miss the start of the season due to the Rio Olympics this summer, but should have every chance of securing a spot in the West Ham XI upon his return.
Having won the Argentine Primera División with Boca Juniors in 2015, capping off a 21-goal season with an audacious ‘rabona’ finish in his last outing for ‘the Azul y Oro’, Calleri was big news in Brazil when he opted to join an underperforming São Paulo side on loan back in February.
In his time at the Brazilian club, the striker averaged a goal every 104 minutes with 12 in 17 appearances, proving to be more prolific than the coveted Santos forward Gabriel Barbosa and Manchester City’s new £27 million signing Gabriel Jesus.
The 22-year-old now arrives in London for his first venture in European football, whereas the apparent interest from Barcelona goes a long way into demonstrating just how much of a prospect the striker really is.
West Ham will have to be wary of an eventual physical burnout, however, since a move to England would see Calleri play for a year and three months without the habitual break. Andy Carroll remains an important weapon for Bilić in particular encounters, whereas the expected departures of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia could open up space for the arrival of reported target and A.C. Milan striker Carlos Bacca.