Godoy Cruz striker Jaime Ayoví has revealed he was once wanted at both Aston Villa and West Ham and he regrets not joining either club.
The 32-year-old striker recently return to the Argentinian club for a second time, having played for them both on loan and permanently between 2014 and 2017.
The Superliga side are the latest in a long line of clubs for the 32-year-old, whose career has seen him travel across the world, playing for clubs in Ecuador, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and China.
One location that has eluded him is Europe, with that opportunity never seemingly available and unlikely to arrive at this point in his career.
It seems, though, that England once beckoned, with the striker revealing both Aston Villa and West Ham ‘loved’ him.
“I regret not going to Europe when I could, it was not up to me alone,” he told Radio La Red.
“I was wanted by West Ham and Aston Villa. After I had succeeded here at Godoy Cruz, they wanted me at Chievo, River Plate and West Ham.”
. @layoya_1324: Me arrepiento de no haber ido a Europa cuando pude percibir no dependía de mí solamente. Me quería el West Ham y el Aston Villa. Luego de triunfar aquí en @ClubGodoyCruz me quería en Chievo, en River Plate y en West Ham.#DesdeLasCanchasEC
— Radio La Red 102.1FM (@LaRedEcuador) February 26, 2020
Now, Ayoví doesn’t mention when West Ham wanted him, but his mention of success at Godoy Cruz suggests it had to be somewhere between January 2015 and the following summer.
That season he bagged 14 goals in 31 games in all competitions, the best form of his time at Godoy Cruz by far and realistically the only time he would have caught the Hammers’ eye.
That year, West Ham’s forward line consisted of Andy Carroll, Nenê, Diafra Sakho, Carlton Cole and Enner Valencia, who managed 21 goals between them in all competitions, so it’s easy to imagine a striker was at the top of Sam Allardyce’s list.
Sadly for Ayoví, the move never happened, and both he and West Ham are now left wondering what might have been.