David Sullivan can deliver West Ham United a star in the January transfer window by signing Borussia Monchengladbach striker Alassane Plea.
According to the Mirror, Plea has emerged as a potential option for the London Stadium natives to target this month as David Moyes strives to sign a replacement for Sebastien Haller.
The Irons are keen to find the right target but for the right price as they refuse to be held to ransom, having already taken a £25m hit by selling Haller to AFC Ajax for £20m just 18-months on from the Ivory Coast international’s club-record £45m arrival.
West Ham’s reluctance to overspend has thrown a spanner in the works of any deal to sign AFC Bournemouth’s Joshua King, as the forward is adamant that he is given a lucrative contract in lieu of the sizeable payday that a free transfer in the summer would otherwise deliver.
Plea has two-years to run on his £63,000-per-week contract at Monchengladbach, where the one-time France international has scored seven goals in 18 games this season, including a hat-trick against Shakhtar Donetsk and a brace against Inter Milan in the Champions League.
The 27-year-old has also provided five assists, including setting up both of his side’s goals in a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in October.
That’s despite missing parts of the season through injury and testing positive for coronavirus, as Plea continues to build an impressive record in Germany after a 10-goal, 11 assist campaign in 2019/20.
Sullivan striking a deal with Monchengladbach to lure Plea to the Premier League this month could see the West Ham co-owner deliver Moyes a real star in their search for top-level competition for Michail Antonio following Haller’s exit.
Plea has proven to be a physically imposing centre-forward in the Bundesliga over the past two-and-a-half seasons despite his 5 ft 11 stature, with a robustness to his game that has sparked comparisons to Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane.
The Spurs talisman, now rated at £108m, is one of the Premier League’s greatest-ever strikers with the ninth-most goals (154) of all-time and counting, and will easily be expected to surpass second-placed Wayne Rooney (208) and chase down Alan Shearer (260) if he spends his entire career in England.
Praise, meanwhile, falls at Plea’s feet in Germany for his willingness to run in behind defences or hold play up to allow teammates to push forward, with the unpredictive nature of his game an aspect that sets the £31.5m-rated gem apart from others in his position.
Gladbach coach Marco Rose would no doubt be loath to lose such a weapon, having spoken so fondly of his abilities in the past.
“I’ve never seen such a degree of quality so often. If he gets a shot off in or around the penalty area, you can almost get ready to celebrate,” Rose said.
Plea also puts the side above himself to play out wide if the need arises, even though he admits the position is not his favourite.
“Everyone knows I prefer playing through the middle. On the left, I’m not entirely at home, but I do it for the team. I’m a fighter, not a guy who sulks. Who am I to refuse to play on the wing?” he noted.
Plea’s attributes and rationality should see that he makes the switch from Germany with far more success than Haller, who managed just 10 goals in 48 Premier League games, and prove a welcome addition in east London if a deal can be struck this month.
AND in other news, a £4.5m-rated brute was West Ham’s true star of the show vs Burnley.