West Ham United may be enticed into returning to one of their long-term transfer targets this summer after having his asking price slashed in order to boost funds.
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According to the Mirror, the Hammers were battling Newcastle United for Porto striker Moussa Marega during pre-season, but nothing came to fruition while Portuguese outlet A Bola, via Sport Witness, claim Leicester and United will be in for him again this summer.
In another report, the same source claims that Marega’s price tag has been lowered from €40m (£35.8m) to €30m (£26.8m).
The east Londoners’ two additions in Sebastien Haller and Albian Ajeti have struggled to hit the ground running, scoring just seven goals between them in the league this term, so manager David Moyes could well be after a new forward to bolster his fortunes next season.
But is Marega the right man to go for? Our writers have run the mill over the potential move…
“Standing at 6ft 1 tall, Marega is a powerhouse who manages to combine physical strength with a deft first touch, and that technical prowess makes him well suited to the role of a second striker rather than a number nine.
“And given the struggles of Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson this season, the Porto star could transform Haller in east London.
“The domineering centre-forward has endured a tumultuous opening to life at London Stadium, often cutting a disconnected figure at the spearhead of the attack.
“The arrival of Marega, who likes to play just off the CF, could provide him with the dynamic he needs to rediscover the form that prompted the Irons to spend £45m on his signature last summer.
“He’s no Luka Jovic but, with 1.4 key passes and 1.9 fouls won per game, Marega can breathe new life into Haller’s career by forming a thriving, unpredictable forward partnership with the Frenchman.”
“Moussa Marega may have a wealth of experience, including appearances in the Champions League, but this is a target the Hammers should steer clear from.
“Over the past few seasons there have been countless examples of the club bringing in strikers from abroad who are unproven in the Premier League, and it has worked against them – with Sebastien Haller the latest example this term.
“The success of Marco Arnautovic shows that buying tried-and-tested players is the route to take, especially since relegation has been a big fear this season, which means they are in need of immediate improvement.
“Marega isn’t the type of player who could work well alongside a strike partner, either. He has managed just 74% pass accuracy and one dribble per game which suggests he would need chances created for him – like Haller – and therefore he could be deprived of scoring opportunities at the London Stadium.”
“I think this is a massive call for GSB. For years, David Gold and David Sullivan have struggled to find a true talisman to lead West Ham, and it definitely hasn’t been for the want of trying – as of October 2019, an article was written outlining how the 45 (yes, 45) strikers signed by the duo have fared, and few have been successful.
“However, it does seem like they’re convinced by Marega in particular given the fact he is a long-term target, so if they’re to sign any forward this summer, it should be the Porto hitman.
“The capture of Jarrod Bowen looks like it has legs to be a successful swoop, so maybe Gold and Sullivan are learning from their mistakes in the transfer market.
“Marega has eight goals and seven assists this season, but at 28 years of age, he wouldn’t be the greatest long-term investment.
“Having said that, there is clearly something that the Hammers admire about him, so maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and see what all the fuss is about.”
“This is an interesting conundrum for the Hammers. Yes, they are in need of another striker, but do they really need a second one of similar profile to what they already have? A move for the 6 foot 1 powerhouse screams of Haller 2.0, especially as he too would come to the London Stadium with an impressive goal tall – he’s found the net nine times this term.
“All in all, David Moyes should look elsewhere this summer, particularly if reports suggesting there will be an English revolution at the club come true, given how expensive British talent is these days, they’ll need all the finances they’ve got to live up to that expectation, so it would be a waste to spend £26.8m on the Mali striker.”
AND in other news, Aaron Cresswell’s tweet has got West Ham fans reacting