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West Ham: Brereton Diaz would be an Antonio upgrade

West Ham are reportedly leading the race for Blackburn Rovers striker Ben Brereton Diaz and the Chile international could be a big upgrade on Michail Antonio in David Moyes’ side.

According to Football League World, the Hammers are in pole position to sign the former Nottingham Forest man, despite interest from fellow Premier League side Manchester United.

Brereton Diaz has exploded onto the scene across the past two Championship seasons, hitting 22 goals in the 2021/22 campaign for the Ewood Park outfit, while he already has nine goals to his name this term.

The 23-year-old is an integral part of Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side at Blackburn and considering they currently sit second in the Championship, the Lancashire side will surely be desperate to keep him in January.

However, his contract at Ewood Park is set to expire at the end of the season, meaning that they could be forced to sell in January if they want to avoid losing him for nothing in 2023, and West Ham could be the beneficiaries.

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The Hammers signed Gianluca Scamacca in the summer transfer window as they looked to phase Antonio out of the first team, as while he is their top goalscorer in Premier League history, the 32-year-old looks as if he is already beginning to decline.

This was emphasised in last weekend’s defeat against Crystal Palace, as the Jamaica international came off the bench but wasted passes in two golden attacking areas, before the Eagles went on to grab a last-gasp winner.

Antonio has averaged a shocking 6.39 rating from WhoScored for his performances this season after scoring just twice in the top flight, compared to a 6.92 in the 2021/22 campaign, which emphasises how poor he has been and suggests that it is time he was dropped for good.

Brereton-Diaz, meanwhile, has averaged a strong 6.89 rating for his performances in the Championship and has averaged more shots per game (3.1 vs 1), a better pass success rate (76.6 vs 56.6) and more key passes per game (1 vs 0.5) than the West Ham forward.

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West Ham United manager David Moyes applauds the fans

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Therefore, it seems clear that the 23-year-old would be a better fit in Moyes’ squad if the Hammers are to turn their form around this season, so GSB should look to sign the “extraordinary£10m-valued striker – as dubbed by Tony Mowbray – after the World Cup.