West Ham targeting 6 foot 7 Stuttgart striker

Kalajdzic

West Ham are keen on signing Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic this summer, according to The Independent.

What is the latest transfer news involving Kalajdzic?

Hammers boss David Moyes wants to add more attacking options to his squad in the off-season, and Kalajdzic has been identified as a potential target for the club. 

However, West Ham face a battle to land Kalajdzic as the forward is being monitored by a number of Premier League sides and Borussia Dortmund. The German outfit are believed to be in the best position to sign the Austrian youngster at the moment.

How much is Kalajdzic worth and when does his contract expire?

Stuttgart are reportedly seeking €20m (£17.2m) for Kalajdzic. West Ham's financial situation could change if the club fail to make Europe this season, and it is understood that the Irons have explored the possibility of taking Kalajdzic on an initial loan deal before buying the player at a later date.

Given the widespread interest in Kalajdzic, though, it seems more likely that Stuttgart will prefer to sell him permanently straight away. 

The 23-year-old has two years left on his contract with the club.

What are Kalajdzic's stats this season?

Kalajdzic has featured in all but one of Stuttgart's Bundesliga matches this year. He has made a significant impact.

As per WhoScored, the attacker has scored 13 goals in the top-flight. This puts him some way clear of West Ham's top scorer in the Premier League this term - Tomas Soucek has found the net on nine occasions.

Standing at 6 foot 7, it is no surprise that Kalajdzic is a formidable presence in the air. He has won 2.8 aerial duels per match in the league in 2020/21 - Soucek (5.9) is the only West Ham player to win more battles in the air per game.

What has Franco Foda said about Kalajdzic?

Austria's national team coach Franco Foda has been very impressed by Kalajdzic's progress recently, which has seen him score eight Bundesliga goals since the turn of the year.

Last month, he told LAOLA1 via HITC“He has developed extremely in the last few weeks and months and has taken the momentum with him. In the beginning, you have always noticed what qualities he has, but now he has also been ripped off in front of goal, where a striker has to be.”

“He has good anticipation in the penalty area. It was no coincidence that he scored these goals."

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Does this provide Moyes with chance to finally replace Haller?

West Ham sold Sebastien Haller for £20m to Ajax in early January, leaving Michail Antonio as the club's only recognised striker.

But they couldn't bring in another forward during the rest of the transfer window, having failed to strike a deal for Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri.

Fortunately for Moyes, failing to replace Haller has not cost the side yet. Jesse Lingard has hit the ground running since arriving on loan from Manchester United, registering 10 goal contributions in eight games, whilst Antonio has only missed one league match in 2021.

However, the 31-year-old limped off with a hamstring problem on Monday, and it remains unclear as to how long he will be out for.

This setback has provided a reminder that West Ham's options at the top end of the pitch are thin, and they need to rectify this. They cannot continue to rely on Lingard putting in exceptional performances every week and Antonio staying fit all year.

The club need another attacker heading into the 2021/22 season, particularly with the prospect of European football on the horizon, and Kalajdzic could be the player to ease the burden on Lingard and Antonio.

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