Speaking exclusively with Football FanCast, former West Ham United striker Marlon Harewood backed David Moyes to utilise Tomas Soucek in efforts to sign Slavia Prague striker Abdallah Sima.
Sima has scored 14 goals in 21 games this season, after making the step up to Jindrich Trpisovsky’s first-team with strikes to his name in the Fortuna Liga and Europa League.
Slavia have been expected to rebuff any approaches in January and look to cash-in on Sima come the summer, after rejecting offers worth €10m (£9m) during the last transfer window, but would not refuse bids of €50m (£44.5m).
Harewood would not judge Sima on the fee Slavia President Jaroslav Tvrdik touted, but rather bend the ear of 6 ft 4 Moyes favourite Soucek after the midfielder’s time at Slavia Prague.
“The best person to ask would be Soucek. If he’s played with him, he would know straight away and he can explain to him what it’s going to take to [make it in England],” Harewood told FFC.
“He’s been playing with him for quite a while at his previous club, so it’d be good, he knows what he’s about. And if he says: ‘Yes, he’s the one that’s going to help us build and do really well for seasons to come’, then I think he’ll be the best person to ask that question.
“But his ratio seems really good. The money, nowadays, it’s hard to judge a player on a price tag.”
Sima made his Slavia first-team debut after Soucek joined West Ham in a permanent £19m transfer this summer, but the Irons’ star midfielder has previously waxed lyrical over the Senegalese teen.
“I’m excited about him. His goals are very much similar to what I’ve been scoring. I’m glad that such a player was found, but it’s not just about that. He shows one-on-one qualities, finishing, just a typical winger,” Soucek told CT Sport.
“I have to say that the guys or the media around West Ham know about him. I would only be happy if another player from Slavia came, but it is still far away. He’s still a young player and he has to prove it. But a lot of people know about him and notice him. Only good for him.”
Soucek’s love is well placed, with Sima scoring twice against Ligue 1 side OGC Nice in the Europa League earlier this season, and finding the back of the net twice in the Fortuna Liga derby against rivals AC Sparta Prague.
Whether West Ham move to sign Sima this month remains to be seen, though Moyes’ side are certainly in the market for a striker after Sebastien Haller’s £20m move to AFC Ajax.