Reports by 90min over the weekend claimed that West Ham United have increased their efforts to sign Adam Hlozek, who could prove to be David Moyes’ next star striker if David Sullivan can seal a deal.
The 18-year-old is considered to be one of Europe’s most sought-after players after impressing talent spotters across the continent with his efforts in the Fortuna Liga, where he boasts five goals and six assists in 12 games this season.
A metatarsal fracture derailed Hlozek’s campaign in November and sidelined the two-cap Czech Republic international until March, after which he returned to score and assist his latest efforts in a 7-2 thrashing of FK Teplice.
Hlozek is now seen to have an outside shot at featuring in the Czech Republic’s Euro 2020 squad this summer, which could see interest heighten in the 6 ft 2 teen talent backed to be “the top player in Europe” by Sparta boss Pavel Vrba.
But West Ham are seemingly moving to beat the queue of suitors already on the scene, with it claimed that the London Stadium natives are intensifying their position as Sullivan works on improving Moyes’ attacking options ahead of potentially competing in Europe next term.
Sparta Prague are expected to demand a lofty fee to sell Hlozek at the end of the season given his European-wide suitors and potential, but the coronavirus pandemic is likely to force the Fortuna Liga outfit to set a valuation below €30m (£26m).
The Hammers had considered lodging a bid for the Sparta Prague product in January and hold a distinct advantage over their rival suitors, with it believed that Hlozek is a good friend of Tomas Soucek and shares the same agent as the former Slavia Prague midfielder.
West Ham qualifying for Europe would also increase their standing in Hlozek’s thinking with a UEFA competition key to his position over any possible transfer, while the £11m-rated forward believes he would secure regular game time with a move to east London.
Hlozek may struggle to get on the pitch week in, week out as the leading striker were he to join potential suitors Bayern Munich or Juventus, while Borussia Dortmund are steadfast in their position that Erling Haaland will not be leaving the Signal Iduna Park this summer.
Sullivan, then, clearly faces a sizable mountain in the elite-level competition West Ham could face to sign Hlozek, but should use their advantages to seal a deal this summer to potentially reap the rewards further down the line.
Hlozek clearly has a lot of potential having scored four goals and offered five assists in six Fortuna Liga fixtures before sustaining his serious injury, and is working his way back to peak fitness with a full 90 minutes under his belt in Sparta Prague’s last three straight games.
Zelezna Sparta boss Vrba also lauds him for being a “hugely talented player” with an “interesting future ahead”, that could see the Irons land a significant profit in the future should he do for Moyes what Haaland has done for Borussia Dortmund.
Haaland only played 27 games for RB Salzburg before moving to the Bundesliga for £17m, but is now valued by the Signal Iduna Park natives at up to £150m as his £70m release clause is not activated until June 2022.
There’s no guarantees that Hlozek can do what Haaland has done, but the signs are promising when the side who signed Haaland and are now set to profit from it and are also one of the clubs rivalling West Ham for Hlozek.
If a deal is there to be done, then, Sullivan should jump at the chance to land the Irons a rising star who could bring massive financial rewards to the London Stadium as well as helping to improve the immediate results on the pitch.