West Ham legend Frank McAvennie wants the club to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa this summer, per LoveSport Radio.
The Sun claimed on Monday that the Hammers could rival both Tottenham Hotspur and AFC Bournemouth for his signature when the transfer window reopens.
Grealish has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Spurs making a £25million bid for the playmaker last summer.
The offer was rejected and he has stayed put at Villa Park, though he has struggled with injuries thus far this term.
He has made a total of 25 appearances in all competitions and Villa’s form nosedived once he sustained a shinbone injury; in the 13 Championship games that he missed, Villa won just two.
Since his return, he has scored two goals in four games and his side are unbeaten, beating Derby County, fierce rivals Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough.
And McAvennie, who twice joined the Irons, playing for them between 1985 and 1987 and then between 1989 and 1992, believes Grealish has the ability to make a real difference to Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
“The boy has got talent, that’s for sure. He’s got a bit about him. He’s got a bit of swagger which is not a bad thing for West Ham,” McAvennie said. “They could do with someone like that to go in and take them to the next level.”
West Ham are desperately trying to reach the next level as a football club.
In the summer, they signed the likes of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Issa Diop and remain in with a shout of qualifying for the Europa League.
Bringing in a player like Grealish, and beating long-term admirers Spurs to the punch, would show that they are serious about their ambitions.
The Irons’ recruitment strategy has been far too scattergun in recent years but bringing in a young, hungry, exceptional homegrown talent is exactly the kind of deal they should be doing.
Indeed, they need players such as Grealish if they are to qualify for Europe, either this season or next.