West Ham transfer rumours: Irons want 29-year-old who may be a far cheaper option than Lingard

Sassuolo midfielder and West Ham target Filip Djuricic picking up his boot

West Ham are keen on signing Sassuolo midfielder Filip Djuricic in the upcoming transfer window, as reported by Gianluca Di Marzio.

What’s the latest news on Djuricic?

The 29-year-old is reportedly wanted by two Premier League clubs, with Southampton joining the Hammers in showing interest in bringing Djuricic over to England.

Having spent the last three years at Sassuolo, he only has one year left on his contract so could be available for a relatively low fee this summer. Transfermarkt value Djuricic at just £8.1m.

What were Djuricic’s stats this season?

Djuricic was a regular in the Sassuolo side this term, registering nine goal contributions in 32 Serie A appearances.

As per WhoScored, the 31-cap international made 55 key passes in Italy’s top-flight – only Domenico Berardi (58) produced more for Sassuolo, while Aaron Cresswell (58) was the sole West Ham player to better this total.

The creative midfielder is also a high-class dribbler, having completed 36 successful dribbles in Serie A, a number only surpassed by Michail Antonio (43) and Said Benrahma (42) for David Moyes’ men.

Has Djuricic played in the Premier League before?

Indeed he has, although only briefly.

Back in 2015, Djuricic joined Southampton on loan, but played in just nine league matches for the club.

He failed to find the net for the Saints during his stint in the Premier League, and this may explain why Di Marzio’s report claims that Djuricic would prefer to stay in Serie A this summer. 

However, Di Marzio also only lists Premier League sides as being interested in Djuricic, so it seems that a return to England cannot be ruled out at this stage.

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Which West Ham manager signed Aaron Cresswell?

Would Djuricic be an appropriate alternative to Lingard for West Ham?

It’s very likely that he’d be cheaper.

Last month, it was reported that Manchester United value Lingard at around £20m, suggesting that West Ham may have to pay more than double Djuricic’s fee to land the Old Trafford man on a permanent deal.

It would be understandable if the Irons did decide to still splash the cash on Lingard given that he recorded 14 goal involvements for them in 16 appearances in 2020/21. However, only one of those came in his final six matches, as his form seemed to drop off slightly in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Djuricic has been producing the goods consistently over the last two years, chipping in with 20 Serie A goal contributions since the start of the 2019/20 season. It’s also worth noting that he has outperformed Lingard when it comes to creating chances this year, having made 1.7 key passes per game to Lingard’s 1.1 (via WhoScored).

Djuricic is less than a year older than Lingard, but is a little more creative than his Premier League counterpart based on this season’s statistics and looks set to be comfortably cheaper this summer, which could lead to Moyes looking to sign him rather than Lingard when the transfer window opens on Wednesday.

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