West Ham should forget Pastore and Joao Mario and sign James Maddison instead

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini looks set to be in for a busy summer transfer window, and one of his priorities appears to be to bring a new attacking midfielder to the London Stadium.

Sky Sports report that the Chilean boss wants to bring Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore in – although his £190,000-a-week wage demands are proving to be a huge issue – while the east London outfit have also been linked with bringing Joao Mario back to the club following a successful loan spell in the second-half of the 2017/18 campaign.

West Ham, who have been linked with a baffling move for a 25-year-old rated at £100m, have tended to target more experienced players that have been there and done it – like Pastore – in the past, with the likes of Javier Hernandez, Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta all signing last summer.

However, perhaps it is time for a change in transfer strategy and to target players that are young with big potential to improve and see their transfer value grow.

One prime example right now is Norwich City attacking midfielder James Maddison – a player that should be on Pellegrini’s radar given where he seemingly wants to strengthen.

The highly-rated 21-year-old looks set to leave the Championship outfit for the Premier League this summer, with Sky Sports reporting he could be available for between £20-25m.

That price tag may seem a little steep, but when you look at his statistics from the 2017/18 season you realise he could actually be a really sound investment for whoever gets him.

James Maddison's stats for Norwich City in the Championship

The England U21 international scored 14 goals and provided a further eight assists in 44 league games for Norwich, as per WhoScored.com, but it is perhaps the number of key passes – 121 – and the number of successful dribbles he made – 124 – that really catch the eye.

Maddison would bring plenty of quality in the final third for West Ham, and his ability to bring the ball forward, take on opponents and find that killer ball could mean that he proves to be a bargain buy in the long run for Pellegrini.

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