West Ham United are believed to be leading the way in the race to sign Chelsea striker Armando Broja, with the Albania international having been identified as a potential solution to the club’s centre-forward woes.
The hot topic at present among Hammers supporters is just who the club will sign to add extra firepower to David Moyes’ squad, with the 20-year-old one name that has been heavily linked in recent weeks.
While the Slough-born ace is expected to link up with Thomas Tuchel and co on their tour of the United States, following the lack of a breakthrough regarding a potential departure, there had been reports that the Irons were readying a £30m bid for youngster.
Journalist Pete O’Rourke has now shared his verdict on the London Stadium outfit’s interest in the 14-cap gem, stating in an interview with Football FanCast: “They are definitely among the frontrunners for Broja, they’ve been tracking him for a long time now. We all know West Ham are searching for a number nine. They’re desperate to bring in a new striker before the window closes, so Broja is somebody that they have scouted quite intensively.”
That clamour for the striker – which has also seen Frank Lampard’s Everton linked with a move – has more than been justified following a promising loan spell at Southampton during the 2021/22 season, the £19.8m-rated ace netting nine goals in all competitions for the Saints.
The £8.5k-per-week menace had previously bagged 11 goals while on loan at Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem the year prior, having yet to truly force his way into the first-team plans at his parent club, making just a solitary appearance for the west Londoners thus far at senior level.
The suggestion is that he could be involved in Tuchel’s plans next term, although West Ham are seemingly lying in wait if Todd Boehly and co do opt to cash in over the coming weeks, with the 6 foot 3 marksman seemingly one of Moyes’ preferred targets.
The former Manchester United boss has seen first-hand the damage that the “devastating” youngster, as described by national team assistant Sergio Porrini, can cause when leading the line, with Broja having netted a brilliant, solo goal in the 3-1 win for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side when the two sides met in the FA Cup back in March.
A real handful for any backline, the player has perhaps shown a potential likeness to Premier League icon Didier Drogba, having previously admitted that he idolised the former Ivory Coast international growing up.
The now-retired powerhouse enjoyed a hugely successful career in English football with Chelsea, scoring 104 goals in 254 top-flight games across two spells with the club, winning four league titles and the Champions League, among other honours, in the process.
With a knack for outmuscling the opposition and for producing the spectacular, Drogba was arguably one of the most feared and most lethal strikers in the division at his pomp, with few defenders having endured a tougher afternoon than against the one-time Marseille man.
It will be a tough ask for Broja to replicate such feats, although if he can get close to mirroring his idol then Moyes and co could well be in for a treat.