In the January transfer window, Liverpool were so close to acquiring the signature of Dnipro star-man Yevhen Konoplyanka. However, the Reds failed to seal the deal and relations took a turn for the worse between the two clubs, opening the door for other sides to snatch up the bright prospect.
Recently, West Ham made a £9.5 million offer for the Ukrainian winger, £2.5 million short of his £12 million buy out clause. He would dramatically improve the West Ham side, and allow them to get rid of players Sam Allardyce does not want around, such as the talented but sometimes problematic Ravel Morrison.
Fellow GiveMeSport writer Daryl Hardy highlights other reasons why West Ham would be wise to bring this talented playmaker aboard.
With so much other speculation swirling around the maelstrom that is the transfer window, it seems like long ago that Tottenham appeared to make a big move before the summer. Various reports backed this up and the Lily Whites had everything but a signature from the 24-year-old. These reports appeared mid-March, when it appeared that Dnipro president Igor Kolomoisky was more than ready to ship his star player to White Hart Lane, claiming London would be the place to live and not Liverpool.
For whatever reasons, the rumours dissipated and the deal floundered, leaving Konoplyanka to remain in Ukraine for the time-being.
Tottenham seeking Griezmann alternatives
Although West Ham has been the one chasing after Konoplyanka as of late, Daniel Levy should revive his interest. With Antoine Griezmann likely to end up with the La Liga champions, Tottenham need to keep their eyes open for good surrogates.
Going into the transfer window, left-back, centre-back, and striker were the main targets for Mauricio Pochettino's new side. However, the bid for Griezmann opened the eyes of many Spurs supporters to how valuable a star winger could be to play opposite of Lamela.
Griezmann would have excelled in that role, but Konoplyanka would do quite well as well. He would be able to start, as the only other player in that position is the underwhelming Nacer Chadli. An obvious improvement, the Ukrainian national could play his part in what would be a formidable attack.
What might have been
The West Ham target would bring a great left foot and some quality passing to compliment newly acquired left back Ben Davies. Konoplyanka might not be the quickest player, but it is neither a weakness.
He is good with both feet, smart and careful in possession, and tactically sound. Although he could not replace the exceptional Bale, Konoplyanka would lock up the left side on attack for years to come. Tottenham supporters know this well, after the three-time Ukrainian Footballer of the Year torched them in the Europa League.
In the first leg of the matchup with Spurs, he produced a Man of the Match performance highlighted by the game's only goal. He was solid in the second leg as well, even in a losing effort. His individual excellence allowed the Ukrainian side to come close to robbing Konoplyanka's potential future side of a birth in the next round.
Levy would be smart to meet the player's buyout clause immediately and secure him before another club does. His value is sure to rise in correspondence to his exposure, and his performances in the Europa League prove that he is ready for a bigger challenge. Tottenham provides just that. A deal for Konoplyanka would prove smart for both sides, with Konoplyanka taking a step up in club level and Spurs taking a step closer to the Champions' League.