Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughA bit of background to Allardyce’s other striker interest - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough A bit of background to Allardyce’s other striker interest - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

A bit of background to Allardyce’s other striker interest

As West Ham step up their interest in Jordan Rhodes after a £4 million bid was rejected, Sam Allardyce also has his eye on another striker, problem is, it is one of those instances where nobody quite knows who he is.

Of course we all know who Jordan Rhodes is. Striker. Huddersfield. 27 goals from 24 games. Yes, that Jordan Rhodes, but a wise betting man would be willing to gamble on the fact that not many are quite as familiar with Ryoichi Maeda, whom Allardyce has granted a trial at Upton Park.

Maeda was reported to start a five-day trial on Tuesday after the 30 year old boasts a strike-rate of 115 goals from 260 appearances for the wonderfully named Jubilo Iwata in the J-league, a record that would have even Mr Rhodes going weak at the knees. The striker, who has been psychologically treated for an addiction to finding the net, has won the J-League golden boot twice in the past three seasons.

It is believed that Allardyce had previously been interested in Maeda, looking at him in December before inviting him to this trial in the hope that he can earn a work-permit before any possible move will take place. He has made 14 appearances for the Japanese national team and was also a member of the squad that won the 2011 Asian Cup.

It is believed that Big Sam is seeking a regular goal-scorer to see his West Ham side over the finish line as they seek promotion to the Premier League and Maeda could well be the unlikely saviour from Japan to fire the goals required. Carlton Cole has netted just 8 goals; Sam Baldock has flattered to deceive with 5 while John Carew and Frederic Piquionne have both only have 2 goals each.

Allardyce’s scouting system has already shown it can find water in the desert at Bolton and later at Blackburn so he should be trusted on Maeda, even though he is just going off reports and video-tapes. Rhodes may be the stellar acquisition but he may have also struck gold with this Japanese hot-shot.

If Maeda wasn’t obscure enough, the devious team of Allardyce scouts have been busy trawling the Earth for such talent as Yannick Sagbo, the Evian striker who has six goals in Ligue 1 this season and also George John, the USA defender who will sign from FC Dallas for a fee of around £200k.

Reports also suggest that Allardyce is willing to travel to planet Pluto in search of a left-winger, but these have been dismissed by club


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