Turkish Football are claiming that West Ham United are among two Premier League clubs keeping close tabs on German youth international and Mainz 05 youngster Erkan Eyibil.
Newcastle United are reportedly the other English top-flight team scouting the 17-year-old who has just a year remaining on his current deal at Mainz and is yet to sign a new one, per the original report.
The left-footed attacking midfielder has drawn comparisons to Arsenal and former Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil, not just for his position and playing style, also for the fact they’re both ethnic Turks born in Germany.
In fact, Eyibil has just progressed up a rank in the youth tiers of the German national side, earning his first call up to the under-18s.
But, the highly-rated wonderkid is yet to represent his Bundesliga club on a consistent basis above under-19 level, where he has caught the eye with 12 goals and five assists in just 18 appearances this season.
West Ham currently only have two players that are natural central attacking midfielders like Eyibil or who have operated in that role for large parts of their careers, Manuel Lanzini and Samir Nasri.
The latter, who could well sign permanently at the end of the campaign, is seen as the back-up option for the former. If Manuel Pellegrini signs this starlet up, he should be the perfect age to step into Nasri’s shoes in the future – although that process may well have to be sped up if the Frenchman doesn’t agree fresh terms.
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The Hammers would be thinking about the long-term by making this signing, but this is something they must start doing if the current manager is to have a lengthy and successful stint in east London.
Looking back into the Development Squad and the academy, the Irons have plenty of attacking wingers of the Grady Diangana, Nathan Holland and Dan Kemp variety, though a real lack of central attacking midfielders – a void that Eyibil can fill.
Mix Pellegrini’s proven track record for developing young talents with the Nasri equation and the East Londoners have the perfect recipe for a real future star in their grasp.