David Moyes should urge West Ham United to sign Real Sociedad forward Mikel Oyarzabal in the January transfer window as the Irons eye a replacement for Sebastien Haller.
Moyes is on the hunt for offensive reinforcements with Michail Antonio his only current recognised senior striker, and is claimed to have been in contact with four or five targets.
Oyarzabal played under Moyes at Sociedad in 2014 and is seen as an option that will complement the side the Scottish coach is building, as he can play outside to support Antonio with the five-goal hitman the clear number one in east London.
Oyarzabal was previously linked with a potential move to West Ham last summer, with it claimed in The Sun that Moyes would love to reunite with the 23-year-old after handing the 11-cap Spain international his breakthrough at the Anoeta Stadium.
The Txuri-urdinak captain is considered to be one of the major factors behind Real Sociedad becoming one of the most exciting young sides in La Liga, providing seven goals and four assists in 14 top-flight outings this term after a 10-goal, 11-assist haul in 2019/20.
Moyes could forge a formidable front four at the London Stadium if he were to urge the West Ham hierarchy to break the bank to sign Oyarzabal this month, as Sociedad would no doubt be loath to lose such a key weapon in Imanol Alguacil’s arsenal on the cheap.
Oyarzabal has the potential to be more than just a Haller replacement if signed in the January transfer window, as his influence comes from across the field with the Sociedad product not a natural centre-forward.
By trade, Oyarzabal is a left-winger but is often given a free-roaming role at the Anoeta Stadium to drift around the field and pick-up possession wherever he can do the most damage, be it dropping deep and driving forward or by producing the vital final pass.
Alguacil lauds the impact Oyarzabal brings to his side, be it on the flank, through the centre or at striker, but also for the determination the “hungry” £36,000-per-week gem shows in the face of adversity.
Only five players have provided a higher number of accurate crosses in La Liga to date this term than Oyarzabal, who has produced 21 accurate deliveries – the same as 2014 World Cup winner Toni Kroos, per SofaScore.
The £63m-rated Sociedad star’s efforts in the final third have helped toward creating five big chances for his teammates to score, with an average 1.4 key passes while taking 1.9 shots and only missing two clear-cut chances to score thus far this season.
Only Antonio (2.2) currently takes more efforts on goal in Premier League games for West Ham compared to Oyarzabal’s La Liga exploits, with the Spaniard matching Jarrod Bowen (1.9), per WhoScored. Add in Said Benrahma (1.5), and Moyes would have a formidable front four, all capable of driving possession on and producing in the box, while upgrading the creativity of his side.
Aaron Cresswell and Vladimir Coufal lead the charts at the London Stadium for key passes per game among those who have featured more than five times with the full-backs each offering 1.5, but that figure drops to just 0.9 in Declan Rice, Bowen and Arthur Masuaku as the next-best options.
Oyarzabal, therefore, could ease the strain on Cresswell and Coufal to create and Antonio to score, but at a likely lucrative fee that West Ham may not be willing to spend in January.