David Sullivan may fail to find David Moyes’ replacement for Sebastien Haller if West Ham United target Stade de Reims forward Boulaye Dia in the January transfer window.
The Irons are in the market for offensive reinforcements after selling Haller to AFC Ajax for £20m, having decided to cash-in now on their £45m record-signing for fears of failing to receive offers in the same price range in the future.
Reports in France have also claimed that an opening bid of €10m (£9m) is expected, as the forward has a gentleman’s agreement that will allow him to leave the Stade Auguste-Delaune, but Reims want any interested party to present an offer worth €15m (£13.5m).
Dia has started 16 of his Ligue 1 appearances this season and is the division’s joint-top goalscorer with Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, having offered a league-high contribution of 44% of his side’s total goals to date.
West Ham must reconsider the hazards of signing Dia before Sullivan lodges a formal offer, as the Irons co-owner and Chairman risks failing to find Moyes his Haller replacement in the £3,000-per-week Senegal international.
Dia has only just begun to establish himself as a lethal frontman in Ligue 1 this season through his 12 goals in 17 games, having enjoyed a previous career-best haul of seven in 24 appearances last term on the back of a mere three-goal return in 2018/19.
He is not blessed with a record featuring chances galore, either, with Dia offering just 1.6 shots a game – though scoring 0.7 times a game – having only marginally improved his output from last season’s record of 1.4 efforts a game, per SofaScore.
West Ham saw just as much from Haller during what proved to be his final months at the London Stadium, with the Ivory Coast international striking 1.4 shots per game in the Premier League though only converting 0.2 of his attempts for three goals in 16 appearances.
Players moving to the Premier League from Ligue 1 and struggling has been a frequent trend of most windows and an issue that has not only affected West Ham, as well, as for every Eden Hazard to Chelsea, Fabinho at Liverpool or Dimitri Payet to the Hammers there have been the likes of Florian Thauvin at Newcastle, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou to Tottenham and Tiemoue Bakayoko at Stamford Bridge.
West Ham also have a clear comparison in Modibo Maiga as they weigh up the benefits of signing Dia, having seen the Mali international completely flop in east London following his arrival in 2012 for around £5m.
Like Dia, Maiga had begun to establish a record in France before joining the Irons with a nine-goal season after a 15-goal haul in 2010/11, yet arrived at Upton Park to offer two goals in his maiden Premier League campaign before two further single goal seasons.
He was ultimately sold after three terms and a loan spell with Queens Park Rangers, having found the back of net just once in every 8.5 top-flight games in claret and blue, and must act as a stark warning to Sullivan and Moyes as they weigh up what would surely have to be considered as a risky swoop for Dia.
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