From London Stadium – When West Ham United agreed a summer time deal price in extra of £35m for Italy worldwide Gianluca Scamacca, there have been big sighs of reduction.
The primary sigh of reduction, most likely, got here from Hammers ahead Michail Antonio, who had single-handedly carried the ‘main the road’ load for the most effective a part of 18 months – a results of Sebastien Haller’s sudden, however not wholly surprising, transfer to Eredivisie giants Ajax.
The second sigh of reduction got here from tons of of hundreds of West Ham supporters who had been clamouring for a brand new signing to return in and supply competitors for Antonio since, properly, the day Haller departed for Amsterdam.
The third, and maybe largest sigh of reduction, nearly actually got here from David Moyes, who stood on the London Stadium touchline for much too lengthy figuring out that Antonio – identified for his penchant for hamstring accidents – may break down at any level and depart him and not using a recognised first-team striker.
Fortunately for the Scot, for West Ham and for the membership’s supporters, Antonio cobbled collectively his highest look return for eight years throughout 2021/22 – scoring 13 targets along with contributing 11 assists as West Ham completely loved themselves each at residence and in Europe.
Certainly, Antonio was instrumental in main the Hammers again into continental competitors for a second successive season, and his all-action shows additionally introduced out the most effective in his teammates – 18-goal Jarrod Bowen the obvious beneficiary as his maiden call-up into Gareth Southgate’s England squad attested to.
Antonio’s heroics did not detract from the matter at hand, nevertheless – West Ham wanted so as to add firepower to their squad they usually wanted to signal a striker not solely able to difficult Antonio for a beginning place, however one able to taking it away from him.
Enter, Gianluca Scamacca.
A towering brute of a striker standing 6’5, the 23-year-old first got here to West Ham’s consideration in June when the membership’s scouting workforce contacted Serie A outfit Sassuiolo about not solely Scamacca, but additionally his teammate Giacomo Raspadori – who’s now banging within the targets for Napoli.
Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal have been additionally , as have been Juventus, however West Ham received the deal accomplished a month later – considered one of many large bits of summer time enterprise signed off by the membership’s hierarchy.
Scamacca has performed second fiddle to Antonio within the season’s early phases, surprisingly to some, with Moyes eager to emphasize in numerous his press conferences that adaptation is required – each to the pace of the Premier League but additionally by way of his match health.
“I believe it should take him a while to adapt. It takes a while to turn out to be acquainted with the tempo of the Premier League, however it’s a selection that may assist him enhance.” echoed Italy boss Roberto Mancini in September, when questioned why his beginning striker wasn’t but first selection at West Ham.
Sticking with the established order of Antonio up entrance initially irked many within the stands, however that call now seems to be to be paying dividends after Scamacca’s newest star efficiency – this time within the comeback 3-1 win over Premier League new boys Fulham.
Contemporary from bagging the successful objective towards Anderlecht on Thursday, Scamacca was filled with verve, confidence and swagger as he led the road fantastically on his third Premier League begin. He may, and may, have had a hat-trick on the day, have been it not for some wasteful ending and a few sensible saves from Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Regardless of these missed possibilities, Scamacca held his nerve to attain his sixth objective in claret and blue – the objective to place West Ham forward – with an impudent, dinked end tinged with the slightest trace of handball.
“I believe what he has proven is that he’s not a one trick pony,” Moyes mentioned of the objective in his post-match press convention, clearly impressed with Scamacca shedding his repute for a striker who can solely strike the ball with energy.
Extra promisingly, Scamacca linked up properly with one other of West Ham’s marquee summer time signings, Brazilian playmaker Lucas Paqueta, on numerous events, and displayed great power regardless of beginning in Brussels lower than 72 hours beforehand.
There was a way of pleasure every time he received the ball and a way of expectation. A heat, fuzzy feeling that solely a handful of gamers are in a position to provide you with in sure conditions.
The targets will proceed to circulate for Scamacca and assists will come too. What’s necessary for West Ham although is that the Italian is in control and Antonio – who scored the third objective to kill Fulham off – lastly has any individual to assist him take West Ham subsequent to the extent.