West Ham summer target has eight goals already; could’ve signed for nothing. West Ham United were reportedly close to agreeing a pre-contract deal with Jonathan Bamba ahead of the summer.

Despite West Ham’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to Brighton in the Hammers’ final game before the international break, Manuel Pellegrini’s side’s recent form suggests that their summer business was much more inspired than it appeared to be in the opening stages of the campaign.

West Ham added a lot of quality and there is reason for optimism despite the loss. Nevertheless, the Hammers hierarchy may be kicking themselves for not getting a deal across the line for a player that they had on their radar earlier this year.

The Sun reported in February that the Irons had their eye on a pre-contract deal for Jonathan Bamba for the summer, and were close to reaching an agreement. Of course, the move would not happen and Bamba left Saint-Etienne to join Lille. 

It is not clear why the deal did not take place, but it must be noted that David Moyes was manager at the time and was replaced by Pellegrini, so perhaps he was not a player that the Chilean had on his radar. On the other hand, Pellegrini may have been just as keen and Bamba simply decided that Lille was the best option on the table.

Whatever happened, West Ham should perhaps rue not managing to get Bamba through the London Stadium door as his form at the start of this campaign has been sensational. 

The 22-year-old has scored eight times in 11 appearances in all competitions this term, including seven in nine in Ligue 1. In his last two games, he has scored four goals and provided an assist.

That form is all the more remarkable given that he has only featured on the left wing this term. When you consider that West Ham have scored fewer goals between them this season than Bamba has on his own, it is surely difficult to argue that he would not have been a fantastic signing on a free transfer.

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