Gianfranco Zola finds himself in a situation that no manager wants to be in. His club lie 17th in the Premier League table, hovering just one point above the drop zone, the club are in financial turmoil and the Italian has little or no available transfer funds for the upcoming window. In addition to this the man whose goals have been keeping West Ham alive, Carlton Cole, is both injured and constantly being linked with a move away from Upton Park. However, this morning’s newspapers may have offered a glimpse of hope for the Hammers, as Zola eyes up a bold transfer move for the controversial Brazilian Adriano.

Now I’m sure many of you will have reacted in the same way I initially did. I looked at the story, read the headline and thought; ‘that troublemaker will only cause West Ham more grief, he’s not worth the hassle’. However, after giving the situation some thought, I think I’m going to retract that statement.

West Ham fans need to be honest with themselves; there is a possibility that Carlton Cole will leave in the January transfer window, it is by no means a certainty, but a definitive possibility. If this happens, the Hammers would obviously coup a significant fee, however even then they cannot be sure all of it will be made available for transfer funds. Zola is forced to consider his options elsewhere. There has already been speculation of a move for Luca Toni and Adriano ranks up there with the out-of-favour Italian as a class act to receive on a free transfer.

The Brazilian’s spell with Italian giants Internazionale is so marred by his history of wild partying, absence from training and alcohol problems that people tend to forget just how good the playboy was for the Serie A side. His career in Milan consisted of 48 goals in 123 appearances, including a season best of 28 in 42, an excellent record in one of the world’s best leagues.

Now in the past there have often been situations in which a prolific goal scoring record has not always meant a successful stay in England. You only have to look at Mateja Kezman, Sergei Rebrov, or for those Newcastle fans who remember him, Stéphane Guivarc’h, to realise this. Yet I do not believe Adriano will become a member of this frighteningly non-exclusive club. Adriano has all the qualities to succeed in the Premier League; he is strong, powerful and surprisingly quick for a man of his stature. Being a Brazilian he is technically gifted, reads the game well and above all; has an eye for goal. All these ingredients provide a recipe for success.

The risk in Adriano however comes down to his attitude. It seems that only certain managers, at certain times can get the best out of the striker. He will undoubtedly be a success in the Premier League if Zola can get him reaching the form that we all know he is capable of, however if not he could have a damaging effect on the squad, something Zola will not want with all the young talent he his developing at Upton Park. Adriano spent his last year back in his native Brazil attempting to reignite both his career and his damaged lifestyle. He performed exceptionally for Brazilian side Flamengo, his 19 goals in 30 appearances proved to be the driving force behind the clubs first Brazilian title success in 35 years. As a football fan I hope this is Adriano turning a corner as at 27, he still has several years of top flight football left in him. It is maybe time that someone took a risk on the Brazilian again and you can bet he will be out to prove himself. For a struggling club a world class player on a free transfer is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. With Adriano, Zola has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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  • Gawthaman Gobinath
    5 years ago

    If he’s available for nothing, West Ham can’t really afford not to take him.

    Reply
  • Oli Major
    5 years ago

    He’s a proven goal scorer, they should grab him with no hesitation

    Reply
  • Jim
    5 years ago

    Would be a risk in terms of the person he is, but not as a player

    Reply