Munir El Haddadi’s career has been something of a roller coaster ride so far.
Still only 23 years of age, the striker has a lot to offer potential suitors, as it appears that he’s finally grown tired of playing second fiddle at Barcelona.
What’s odd about that decision is that the youngster knew that his current role was exactly the one he would be given – lower down the pecking order than Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – but yet he still chose to stay with the club last summer when he could have moved on.
Maybe that had something to do with Ernesto Valverde’s persuasive nature, as Sevilla were known to be interested in him at the time.
By cashing in on Paco Alcacer and retaining Munir, no doubt the latter expected he would be given more than the one game he’s managed since August. As it is, his career has stagnated in the same way that Alcacer’s did - and just look at how well he’s doing at Borussia Dortmund now.
Munir is out of contract in the summer, and whilst the Catalans will be loathe to lose him before then for fear of injuries wrecking their treble tilt, they would still be able to command a fee in January, and get another set of wages off their books.
Given that Adrien Rabiot could also join Barcelona at the start of the year followed by Frenkie De Jong in the summer, shaving anything off the current wage bill would be advantageous.
Chicharito Hernandez has already agreed terms with Valencia if widespread media speculation is correct, so with the Mexican heading back to Spain, West Ham are in need of a striker with similar qualities.
Just because we’ve not seen much of Munir these past few months, it isn’t a reflection on his abilities. There aren’t many front men that you’d put in at the expense of either Messi or Suarez unless you were desperate to give one or both a rest.
A better judge of the type of player he can be when given opportunities, is from when he had a 14-goal campaign on loan at Alaves, one of the clubs allegedly interested in his services again.
He quickly became a crowd favourite there because of his application in every game he played, a quality that will be demanded by the London Stadium faithful.
Predominantly left-footed but often criticised for the ‘lack of a right foot,’ the youngster, nevertheless, has an eye for goal and is adept at picking out a pass too.
Though goals are his currency, he values the other side of his game too, which is to be supplementary to a more traditional centre-forward ie Marko Arnautovic or Andy Carroll.
Munir is deceptively quick, is skilful in tight spaces and is up for the physical battle too. He’s a dead-ball specialist and could never be accused of lacking composure on the ball, all of which are attributes that would hold him in good stead in the Premier League.
Whilst it’s true that he doesn’t have any experience in English football, it won’t faze him, and the opportunity to express himself fully – as Alcacer has quickly found out – is too good to turn down.
His versatility and movement mean he can play anywhere in the attacking line, and if West Ham are willing to be patient with him for a few months at most, they’ll have a striker who ticks every box.
His best years are still well ahead of him, he is desperate to resurrect his own career and show what he can do, and the Hammers could tie him down on a long contract for a fraction of the cost they’d pay for a player with a similar set of skills in England.
Given the Hammers are just a few points off the European places at present, and Munir would certainly improve what they already have, it’s a deal that the east Londoners need to execute.