Transfer news: West Ham United linked with Barcelona star - The Verdict

Denmark star Martin Braithwaite playing at Euro 2020

According to Spanish outlet Sport, West Ham United are keen on the idea of a move for Barcelona‘s Martin Braithwaite. 

Indeed, the Danish striker’s performances at the European Championships are understood to have attracted the interest of a number of Premier League clubs, although it’s hard to see Braithwaite having much of a future at the Camp Nou. 

Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay have both arrived on free transfers and the 30-year-old is reportedly (via The Athletic) up for sale. 

Having sold Sebastien Haller back in January, West Ham are in need of a striker, albeit they did manage to qualify for the Europa League without one. 

With that in mind, GIVEMESPORT writers Jonathan Gorrie, Sam Brookes, Joshua Cole and Christy Malyan have given their verdicts on whether or not he’d be a good signing for David Moyes’ side. 

Jonathan Gorrie 

This feels like the West Ham of old. 

Rather than signing rejects from the biggest teams in Europe, the Moyes regime should be inclined to continue their improved recruitment record of late and move for a player with their career ahead of them. 

The likes of Adam Armstrong and Ivan Toney have both been linked which, while difficult to pull off, would surely provide much more in the way of long-term investment than a Barcelona outcast in his 30s. 

Embarking on an upward trajectory last season, West Ham need to keep the momentum up with a big signing who can give their best years to the club. 

Sam Brookes 

“This would be a shrewd piece of business from West Ham.

“Some may point out that Braithwaite is now 30, but he appears to be a late bloomer, perhaps due to the struggles that he faced in his early years, such as being wheelchair-bound when he was a child.

“He may not have quite made the cut at Barcelona, but there is no shame in that. His experience of playing alongside Messi and co. will hold him in good stead for West Ham’s European adventure next year, and his arrival would ease the burden of Michail Antonio up front, which will be crucial if the Irons are to replicate their impressive 2020/21 season next term.”

Joshua Cole 

“Whereas it is fair to say that Braithwaite has improved his game since moving to La Liga, his previous displays in English football left a lot to be desired.

“During his stint at Middlesbrough, the forward struggled considerably for consistency as he only managed to net eight goals in 36 appearances in the Championship.

“With there being no guarantee that he will be able to cope with the competitiveness that the Premier League is famed for, it would be a major mistake by West Ham if they were to swoop for him this summer.

“Instead of making a move for the Barcelona forward, the Hammers should instead be looking into the possibility of drafting in an individual who has a proven track-record of delivering the goods at this level as it could help them maintain the momentum that they have managed to build up in recent months.”

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Which West Ham player scored a dramatic equaliser in the club's 3-3 draw with Spurs last season?

Christy Malyan 

“Martin Braithwaite has never been a prolific goalscorer, so if West Ham are expecting an out-and-out centre-forward who can increase their potency with lethal finishing, they’re better off looking elsewhere.

But tactically speaking, I’m not sure that really matters for West Ham. If you look at how David Moyes set up his side last season, the Irons were at their best when they had Jesse Lingard, Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen all roaming around the final third, running beyond each other and creating a surprisingly fluid attack.

Braithwaite can fit into that. He operated in a wealth of different roles this season and can slot into more than one position while still providing a goal threat, even if it’s not a hugely consistent one.

And, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Antonio wasn’t considered to be a dependable goalscorer even just a few years ago. Under David Moyes he’s notched 21 in 55 appearances.”

Read More – Summer transfer window: Who will move this summer?

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