West Ham could find Michail Antonio’s dream strike partner in Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa.
Recent reports from Sky Sports had suggested that David Moyes’ side had opened talks over signing the Brazilian forward, and it appears his agent is now keeping his cards close to his chest.
Brazilian journalist Jorge Nicola said (via Sport Witness): “What caught my attention is that I looked for Junior Pedroso, who’s Gabigol’s agent and who always answers me. And this time, Junior ended up not commenting on a possible interest from West Ham.”
While Antonio has done brilliantly to lead the line on his own for the Hammers, Moyes surely knows that he could really do with another genuine goal-scorer up top.
And in Barbosa, he could find exactly that.
More commonly known as Gabigol, the 25-year-old has scored an incredible 84 goals for Flamengo in 124 appearances – that includes 29 strikes in just 43 matches during the course of the 2020/2021 season.
In total, he has 129 goals to his name over the course of his professional career thus far.
Talking about the forward back in February, Brazil icon Zico even said: “I think Gabigol has everything to be the greatest striker in Flamengo’s history. It’s getting there. His performance got better and better, consolidating himself as one of the greats. He’s already gone down in history.”
In fact, his goal against Palmeiras back in late November saw him become the first player in the 21st century to reach 11 strikes in the Copa Libertadores tournament.
While his stints in European football with Inter and Benfica didn’t exactly go so well, it could well be third time lucky, and Moyes will feel that the set-up at West Ham is far better for him to come in and hit the ground running in a side that is doing well.
The “lethal” Gabigol could be exactly the kind of foil Antonio needs up top to share the goal-scoring burden at West Ham.