Jonathan Calleri: West Ham’s Next Argentinian Gem
Posted by Matthew Jones | Published on July 28, 2016
Calleri to West Ham? It appears so – Jack Sullivan has confirmed on Twitter that Jonathan Calleri will join the East London club on loan subject to a work permit:
In the next few days we should see the 22-year old Argentinian in the claret and blue shirt. West Ham have had their past with signing great Argentinians – Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano signed for the Hammers in the summer of 2006. Tevez saved West Ham from relegation and scored 7 vital goals in 26 appearances, before playing for major European clubs such as Manchester United and Juventus. Mascherano also moved on to bigger things, playing for Liverpool and Barcelona.
Last summer West Ham signed young Argentine Manuel Lanzini from Al Jazira as a relatively unknown squad player, but”The Jewel” went on to score seven goals and assist two in his first Premier League campaign. Hammers fans will hope Jonathan Calleri will make a similar impact to English football.
But who is Jonathan Calleri? We take a look at the ex-Boca Juniors striker.
After a short youth spell at Club Atlético All Boys, Jonathan Calleri began his senior career at São Paulo in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, scoring an impressive twelve goals in seventeen appearances. After his spell in Brazil, the Argentinian returned to his youth club All Boys in 2013 to play for their senior team, scoring five in twenty-eight appearances at the age of nineteen. Calleri earned a transfer to Boca Juniors the following season and hasn’t looked back, scoring twenty-one times in fifty-three appearances playing alongside ex-Hammer Carlos Tevez.
22-year old Calleri has a consistent and impressive goalscoring record for all his previous clubs, proving he can adapt to different teams and leagues. A reflection on Calleri’s goalscoring record gives West Ham fans the impression that he is not one to flop, but one to succeed in England. Calleri has his best years ahead of him, and hopefully he will have them wearing the famous claret and blue.
- Aerial Duels
- Headed attempts
- Short passing
- Counter-attack threat
- Indirect set-piece threat
- Commits fouls often
Where Will He Fit at West Ham?
West Ham will hope Jonathan Calleri is not the only forward that West Ham sign this window, and he is not the ‘top striker’ David Sullivan promised to sign this summer. Nevertheless,West Ham have more games than ever to cope with this season including the Premier League; Europa League (if they scrape past NK Domždale in the return leg on 4th August); FA Cup; EFL Trophy; Capital One Cup and any additional matches (second legs, friendlies etc). That means that West Ham are likely to invest in more players this summer in order to have a ‘rotatable’ squad, therefore the majority of senior players and some youth players will have a lot of playing time.
This means that Calleri is unlikely to just be a ‘fringe’ player this season, and instead will lead the Hammers frontline in the early stages of the Europa League. The centre-forward role in the Hammers Premier League XI will be reserved for the ‘top’ striker that is expected to arrive this window, however cup competitions are likely to allow the other forwards to play. We have already witnessed signs of a rotatable West Ham squad being created, with No.2 goalkeeper Darren Randolph playing cup matches whilst No.1 Adrian is between the sticks in the Premier League.
Best Possible Scenario
In an ideal world, Calleri would make his debut in the return leg of the 3rd round Europa League qualifier on the 4th August at the first game at the Olympic Stadium, or if not he is likely to feature against Juventus on the 7th. He may then get a chance in the play-off stage in the Europa League (if West Ham reach it). This gives Calleri plenty of opportunities to impress early, which could potentially be rewarded with a starting Premier League place. This pathway is similar to Lanzinis first few months in London.
I realistically expect Calleri to start for West Ham predominantly in Europe rather than the Premier League, but I still expect him to make the bench for the weekend games (depending on how many strikers West Ham sign this window). I believe Calleri will impress in the Europa League, take us far in the competition and return a decent goal tally considering his consistent record throughout his career. West Ham are likely to sign two other strikers this window, with names such as Mandzukic and Ben Yedder mentioned. This means that competition for a starting place is tough and I am predicting Calleri will be further down the pecking order. This is just my prediction of how the Argentinian will adapt to life in England, but football is a game of unpredictability so we will have to wait and see how this one folds out.