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West Ham United should sign Michy Batshuayi not Alexandre Lacazette

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Sometimes when you hear a report about a football club chasing a player, it feels like they are barking up the wrong tree. That seems to have been the case for the last few years for English teams chasing Olympique Lyonnais forward Alexandre Lacazette and after West Ham United had a £31 million offer rejected, it's clear that they should be looking elsewhere.

That is not to say that the Frenchman isn't the kind of player you want at your football club. In fact, it's quite the opposite, he has followed up the 27 he scored in Ligue 1 last season with 21 strikes this as he has grown into one of the most exciting forwards in Europe.

While he hasn't made eye-opening assist numbers, what is not shown in the stats is how much he is involved with Lyon's entire forward play. He drops deep, pulls out wide and tries to be an option at all times for his teammates while also ensuring that he is the one in the box at the end of the move to finish things off.

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There's no doubting the 24-year-old's quality and the fantastic two years he's had in Ligue 1 but it will be very difficult to convince him to join the Hammers. With Lyon, he is guaranteed Champions League football and when you add the fact that the club's president Jean-Michel Aulas feels that only an offer of €50 million will convince him to even consider selling, it will be a small fortune to pay.

Lacazette is also a very ambitious footballer, as he has shown on numerous occasions and it's difficult to tell if he can reach his goals at West Ham. There's no doubt that they will be able to pay him what he would like but regular, competitive European football and a title tilt may be too out of reach at the Olympic Stadium, even after the crazy Premier League season we had this year.

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All is not lost for Slaven Bilic's men though, as another player from across the pond can fill the void they are looking for as the spearhead of their attack. In fact, he could actually be a better fit in their system and be a part of their team for many years to come. That man would be Marseille forward Michy Batshuayi.

The 22-year-old has really stood out in Ligue 1 this campaign, despite the well-documented struggles of his club, Olympique de Marseille. The youngster scored 17 league goals and created nine assists, a total matched by fellow outstanding performer Hatem Ben Arfa and only bettered by Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

That's only four fewer goals that Lacazette but he still created three more than the French international. In fact, Batshuayi was directly involved with 26 goals in 2015/16, more than half of the 48 in total that Marseille managed all season. It's almost hard to think of where the club may have finished in such a dreadful season without his masterful performances.

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He may have slowed down in the second half of the season, that could also be blamed on poor performances from almost every single player around him, but he was still a threat.

A bigger presence in the air than his Lyon counterpart, Batshuayi would be able to adapt should West Ham switch to a longer game like they have when needed in the past and if you can create chances, which is made easier when you have a player like Dimitri Payet, then he is the man capable of dispatching them when given the opportunity.

Perhaps more crucially, it will be easier to sign the Belgian who already looks set to leave this summer. He signed a new deal a few months back to give Marseille more security but with their dreadful season and uncertain future, Batshuayi is ready to move on should the right offer come in.

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The owners have already shown that they have great ambition and buying a forward watched all over Europe will be a real boost to the club's stature. It will also be a positive for Batshuayi, moving to the Premier League where he will be paid handsomely and either increase West Ham's quality for years to come or should they dip, he has the right platform to advance his own career as well.

The move just makes too much sense and while Lacazette would be a fantastic addition too, this one would be easier to pull off. It would be slightly cheaper, less hassle and should still help the club as West Ham look to become a regular player at the top end of the table.

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Topics:
Michail Antonio
Ligue 1
West Ham United
Football
Premier League
Mark Noble
Andrew Carroll

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