David Sullivan will not solve David Moyes’ offensive woes by luring Montpellier HSC striker Gaetan Laborde to West Ham United in the January transfer window.
According to L’Equipe, the Irons have been handed a huge boost in their efforts to sign Laborde as the financial implications of the global pandemic has left the Ligue 1 outfit chasing income this winter.
President Laurent Nicollin has confirmed the Stade de la Mosson natives are facing debts of €20m to €25million (£18.2m to £22.8m) after failing to make any sales in the summer, while playing games behind closed doors is causing further losses of €500,000 (£456.4k) a match.
As such, Nicollin may have to accept cut-priced offers for some of manager Michel Der Zakarian favoured players, including Laborde, who is now said to be available for €12million (£10.95m) amid interest from both West Ham and Newcastle United.
Both Premier League sides are understood to have scouted Laborde throughout the current Ligue 1 campaign after showing an interest in the summer, with the 26-year-old striking three goals and five assists in 13 top-flight fixtures.
While Laborde has brought a creative touch to Zakarian’s offence this term, the former France U20 international has only struck once in his last 11 league appearances and boasts just 21 goals in 84 games across all competitions for Montpellier since signing in 2018.
Moyes is in need of offensive reinforcements in the winter market with Michail Antonio sidelined again with a hamstring injury, while doubt lingers over Sebastien Haller’s future at the London Stadium after reportedly leaving the Scot underwhelmed.
The West Ham boss was at his wits end following Saturday’s defeat at home to Manchester United with his players being so wasteful in the final third, believing the Irons let the game slip away after enjoying a period of dominance throughout the first half.
“I thought the biggest thing tonight was that we had a great chance to go two or three up, maybe even more. We played really well but we didn’t kill it off when we had the chance to do so, show a clinical edge to our finishing or our final pass which was needed. I think that was what cost us tonight,” said Moyes after the game, via football.london.
Laborde would not be the answer to Moyes’ woes as while he could be available for little at £10.95m, the 5 ft 11 centre-forward is relentlessly wasteful with his chances.
Across his 13 Ligue 1 appearances this season, of which he has started each, Laborde has averaged 2.4 shots a game yet has scored just 0.2 times a game while missing three big chances to find the back of the net, per SofaScore.
He only offers 10.9 accurate passes in the opponent’s half of the pitch per game, too, while losing possession 12.2 times, committing 1.8 fouls and losing 66% of his ground duels and 48% of his aerial contests.
Laborde may be cheap, but West Ham would be better served to focus their efforts away from the Stade de la Mosson this winter.