COMMENT By Matt Farr
West Ham are almost certain to renew their hunt for a new goalscorer in the summer transfer window, after failing to land their preferred targets in January.
Slaven Bilic will be drawing up a list of candidates over the coming weeks, but Mario Mandzukic should be at the top of his list.
Here, Football Insider reveals three reasons why West Ham should pursue a deal for the 30-year-old.
A Bilic favourite
West Ham have endured a number of highs and lows this season, and if Bilic is going to turn things around in the long term, he will need a trusted team by his side.
Bilic and Mandzukic have a strong relationship from his time as Croatia national team boss between 2006 and 2012, and the West Ham boss will know exactly what he is getting from the striker.
The West Ham chief took a considerable gamble in the summer to bring in a relatively unknown goalscorer in Jonathan Calleri, but neither he nor fellow flop Simone Zaza made much of an impact.
But a move for Mandzukic would represent much less of a gamble for the club, and under Bilic he should be able to adjust to the Premier League in quick time.
Fits the system
The Juventus striker possess many of the same traits as Andy Carroll, meaning he would be able to slot into the West Ham system with little need for change.
His height and aerial prowess makes him a major threat in the air, while his physical strength, mobility and stamina would make him a considerable attacking force in the Premier League.
Mandzukic is also a player that likes to drive defences back to create space for his team-mates, and that could allow the likes of Michail Antonio, Michail Antonio or Andre Ayew to thrive in the additional pockets of space.
Proven track record
Mandzukic is also an experienced campaigner, having represented a number of top clubs in La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga.
Meanwhile, his international commitments has seen him earn 74 senior caps, so there is little doubt that he possesses the knowhow to do the job required of him.
But the most important statistic for West Ham is his goal record. A prolific goalscorer, Manduzkic has proven time and time again he can be a leading figure in Europe, and can consistently reach the 20-goal mark in a single season.
He may only have seven goals for Juventus this season, but his career track record speaks for itself. He has 136 goals from 320 league appearances, with a further 52 goals in cup and European competitions.
In other West Ham transfer news, an emphatic decision has been made over the future of this 30-year-old outcast.