As West Ham continue in their bid to bolster their squad and Sam Allardyce looks to see-out his new season objectives of turning the Hammers into entertainers once again, he should be doing everything in his power to secure the signing of Yevhen Konoplyanka.
Sky Sports reported last week that Russian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk had rejected West Ham’s offer of £9.5 million for the winger, who has a £12 million buy-out clause in his contract.
The Ukrainian international has been the subject of interest from a host of top Premier League clubs over the past year, including Liverpool, Tottenham and most recently Manchester United.
Konoplyanka created eight chances in seven Europa League games last season, assisting two goals. He has bags of potential and has been likened by some to a younger version of Dutch star Arjen Robben, which puts into perspective just how good he is expected to become.
The 24-year-old would bring pace and dynamism to wide areas at Upton Park, qualities which have often been lacking in recent seasons. The wing wizard would also presumably be keen on getting the chance to shine on a consistent basis in the Premier League.
West Ham can become entertainers again
He is technically a very good player. He can produce incredible skill and also has a great shot in his locker. Although he isn't the quickest, he does venture more into central areas and likes to get a shot off on goal. He can go to the byline and whip a cross in, too.
Konoplyanka impressed in Ukraine’s World Cup qualification ties against England last year and was one of the standout players when Dnipro faced Tottenham in the Europa League in February, confirming Spurs’ own interest in the tricky winger.
Liverpool have cooled their interest after relations soured between the club and player following their failed bid to take him to Anfield in January, and West Ham are now surprisingly leading the chase for Konoplyanka, with no other rival bids seemingly having been lodged.
West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold have been active so far in the transfer market after setting Allardyce a target of a top 10 finish in the league and the even harder task of playing attractive football in the process.
The Hammers have already made promising signings in the form of Mauro Zarate, Diego Poyet, Cheikhou Kouyate, Aaron Cresswell and Enner Valencia.
It is unsure how much more the east London outfit have to spend in this window, but if they could somehow secure a deal for Konoplyanka, who is in the last year of his contract, they will reap the rewards.
Konoplyanka completed 32 take-ons in the Europa League last season for Dnipro, the joint-highest total, and his desire to beat a man and do something every time he has the ball would be sure to light up Upton Park.