In Focus: West Ham move for Christian Atsu looks unlikely for plenty of reasons

According to reports in the Northern Echo, West Ham United are ready to make a surprise move for Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu as they look for cover for the injured Michail Antonio, but only if they fail in a bid to bring Middlesbrough’s Adama Traore to the London Stadium this month.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Northern Echo says that Irons boss David Moyes is keen to sign a new winger following a groin injury to Antonio, and he is targeting a move for Boro’s Traore, who has been brought back into the side by Tony Pulis following a difficult time under previous boss Garry Monk.

However, the Teesside outfit rate the 21-year-old highly and may not be willing to let him leave unless they receive an offer they are unable to turn down before January 31, with the Northern Echo suggesting that West Ham could turn their attentions to Atsu if that proves to be the case.

How has Atsu done this season?

While he has been a regular in the Newcastle side that currently lies three places and three points above the Premier League relegation zone, he perhaps hasn’t had as much of an effect as his manager Rafa Benitez would have hoped for.

The Ghana international has scored two goals and provided a further two assists in 19 top flight appearances this term, while according to WhoScored.com he has successfully completed 23 of the 46 dribbles he has attempted, with his main strengths listed as his concentration and his direct free-kick accuracy.

Would he be a good signing for West Ham?

It’s difficult to say.

Atsu has struggled to make a huge impact despite playing regularly in the Premier League this season, although he could perhaps thrive in a team that has more attacking threat and quality than Newcastle.

However, the 26-year-old only signed a permanent four-year deal with the Magpies last summer following a successful loan spell, and it would likely take a big offer to consider them to sell to a relegation rival.

Will they get him?

Unless Newcastle are really desperate for cash late in the window or believe they can get an upgrade on Atsu by selling him for a decent price to West Ham, a deal very much looks unlikely.

The Irons may also feel that they can find another alternative that could have a bigger impact than the Ghanaian might, to boost their attacking options.