West Ham have seen a £27m bid for Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri rejected, according to The Athletic.
The Irons are yet to replace Sebastien Haller, who was allowed to leave for Ajax earlier in the transfer window, rendering Michail Antonio the only proven strike option in David Moyes’ squad.
However, it appears the Irons are working hard to bring in Haller’s successor in the form of the Moroccan international, whose fine run of form this season has seen him net eight times in La Liga.
West Ham lodged a bid for En-Nesyri over the weekend and while it was rejected by Sevilla, it appears another could be around the corner with The Athletic dubbing him a “top target” for the east London club.
But is the 23-year-old what the Hammers really need right now, or could he quickly prove to be a transfer blunder?
GIVEMESPORT writers Jack Saville, Kobe Tong and Christy Malyan provide their verdicts below…
“There’s something distinctive about the patterns we’ve seen at West Ham United in recent years to suggest that this could be another blunder waiting to happen. Quite simply, this has David Gold & Sullivan written all over it.
“They seem to lurch from one disaster to the next in the transfer market, particularly when strikers are concerned, and there is little reason to believe that Youssef En-Nesyri is going to buck that trend. Sure, his return of eight La Liga goals in 17 games this season is impressive, but it’s clear he’s on a hot-streak having only notched the same number of goals from 36 games in 2019/20.
“Perhaps this purple patch is a sign that the 23 year old is improving, but it would be naïve to sign him on the basis of the current season alone. After all, Haller’s record was eye-catching before his arrival at London Stadium, as were the goal contribution returns boasted by Javier Hernandez and Felipe Anderson before they set foot in east London.”
“It’s vital that the next striker West Ham sign is well suited to David Moyes’ style and complements the key players in his squad. The club need to be absolutely convinced that is the case before hitting the panic-button for the umpteenth time in the transfer market.”
“To be honest, any striker will do for West Ham right now because pinning their hopes entirely on Antonio, despite his fantastic flurry at the back end of last season, is playing a seriously dangerous game.
“Paying over the £20-million mark would ordinarily have me wagging my finger, but considering a similar fee was recouped for Haller, I’m inclined to think the stats point towards En-Nesyri being a good move for Moyes.
“With a record of 12 goals from 25 appearances this season, it’s clear that the Moroccan has an eye for goal and his 11-strike haul for a Leganes team that finished 13th in 2018/19 shows that he’s by no means a flash in the pan.
“And besides, En-Nesyri’s overall qualities have seen him rank as La Liga’s 13th best forward this season, per WhoScored’s average match ratings, placing above the likes of Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann.”
“I’d be lying if I said I’m well-acquainted with En-Nesyri but from what I have seen, it’s obvious he’s got some potential. At the age of 23, he’s already scored goals in La Liga, the Europa League and the Champions League despite often playing from the bench and occasionally being fielded out wide.
“What also stands out is the variety to En-Nesyri’s goals. His highlight reel is filled with penalty box finishes but also includes some fantastic solo goals after twisting defenders inside out, one-on-ones after running through pushed-up backlines and even the odd thumping header.
“There’s a lot to like about En-Nesyri, especially considering his age, but the ultimate question is whether he suits the way West Ham play. Moyes asks a lot of his centre-forwards, who need the physicality, aggression and mental fortitude to be effective while isolated.
“I see some scrappiness in En-Nesyri and he’s got a bit of height at 6 foot 2. But whether that’s enough to thrive in Moyes’ direct system remains to be seen, and the Irons may end up facing too big a transfer bill to find out.”