This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to The Sunday Express (via The Daily Star), West Ham are interested in signing Romain Alessandrini.
30-year-old Alessandrini has spent the past two full seasons with MLS side L.A Galaxy, but he will be out of contract in January and could be set to return to Europe.
As such, the Hammers are said to be eyeing a move for the Frenchman. They are not the only Premier League side to be after him, though, with Brighton, Watford and Aston Villa also mentioned.
Since moving to Los Angeles, the right-winger has been in impressive form in the MLS. In 63 matches, he has 24 goals and 23 assists, and he has picked up eye-catching WhoScored ratings of 7.44 and 7.24 in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
This year, though, he has made just seven appearances in the competition, providing two assists. That is due to a knee injury that has kept him out of the action for much of the year – he has missed 33 games since January. However, that large chunk of time spent on the sidelines is not the main reason why Manuel Pellegrini should avoid this transfer.
The performances of Alessandrini must be taken with a pinch of salt based on the league in which he has been playing: the quality of the MLS is lacking. For example, a side from the division has not won the CONCACAF Champions League since 2000, and they have only contributed three finalists since then as well.
Looking at the former Stade Rennais man’s form before making the move to the States, there is a stark contrast. At Marseille, for example, where he spent three seasons, he managed just 11 goals and nine assists in 65 matches, less than half his record for the Galaxy.
As a word of warning, the London club should look at the case of Miguel Almiron at Newcastle. For Atlanta United, he picked up 22 goals and 21 assists in 70 matches, which convinced the Toon to part with a then club-record fee of £20m to sign him in January of this year. His record in the north-east to date? 24 matches, zero goals and one assist.
Just because Alessandrini has performed in the MLS, it doesn’t mean he would be able to adapt to England’s top tier. Therefore, the Hammers should avoid this deal and look elsewhere for reinforcements despite the fact he would be a free transfer.
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