West Ham United appear to have dodged a bullet in Munas Dabbur after the TSG Hoffenheim striker proved a blunt weapon in Israel’s UEFA European Championship Play-Off defeat to Scotland on Thursday night.
The Irons emerged as a potential transfer destination for Dabbur late last month when reports by Transfer20 proposed that the east London outfit and AS Roma had approached Hoffenheim for greater information on the 28-year-old’s situation.
Roma identified Dabbur as a late window option after struggling to land their more desired offensive targets, while West Ham saw the 24-cap attacker as the missing piece in David Moyes’ plans that would have ensured a mid-table finish in the Premier League.
But Hoffenheim were not prepared to sell, as the Bundesliga outfit only acquired Dabbur from Sevilla in a €12million (£10.8m) deal this January and see the Maccabi Tel Aviv product as a key figure in their aspirations of qualifying for the Champions League come the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
While Moyes was keen to see West Ham sign another forward in the summer market to add depth behind Michail Antonio and Sebastien Haller, the Scottish coach would have been relieved Hoffenheim refused to sell Dabbur following his efforts against Scotland.
Israel coach Willi Ruttensteiner called on Dabbur to open the European Championship Play-Off affair at Hampden Park on Thursday alongside Eran Zahavi, yet barely saw the Nazareth-born striker enter their host’s penalty area before being taken off seven minutes from time.
Dabbur saw plenty of the ball with 52 touches but struggled to produce anything from his time in possession, with the Hoffenheim man often taking up wide positions until Real Valladolid’s Shon Weissman came on to try and fire Israel into the Play-Off Final that Scotland will contend with Serbia after their 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory.
Ruttensteiner would have been frustrated with the performance given by Dabbur, who SofaScore note failed to register a single effort on goal and only attempted one dribble, whilst losing possession 13 times, losing four of six ground duels, committing one foul and misplacing his only attempted cross.
Performances like his against Scotland at the London Stadium would go down like a led balloon, so West Ham can count themselves lucky Hoffenheim refused to sell.
Dabbur broke his duck in front of goal for Hoffenheim in a shock 4-1 win over Bayern Munich last month, with what has so far been the 28-year-old’s only goal of the domestic campaign – adding to his six in 15 appearances for the Rhein-Neckar Arena natives following a mid-season move.