West Ham United have had a very quiet transfer window so far, but that could all be about to change with less than two weeks remaining until the August 31 deadline.
According to 90min, the Hammers have identified Sevilla striker Luuk de Jong as a potential target, with David Moyes desperate to add some strength in depth to his threadbare squad.
The report states that the Spanish club are prepared to let the 30-year-old depart the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan summer after agreeing a deal to sign Wolves forward Rafa Mir for a £12m fee.
After rising through the ranks at boyhood club De Graafschap Doetinchem, de Jong moved to FC Twente in 2009 and fired the club to their first and only Eredivisie title under the stewardship of former England manager Steve McClaren.
A Dutch Cup followed as the 6 ft 1 forward bagged 59 goals and provided 36 assists in just 120 appearances for the overachieving minnows. His incredible performances for Twente earned him a move to Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach, but he struggled to adapt to the pace of German football.
After making just 17 top-flight starts in 18 months for Monchengladbach, a short-term loan move to Newcastle United failed to rejuvenate the Netherlands international as he failed to score in 12 outings for the Magpies.
However, a return to his homeland with PSV Eindhoven in 2014 saw de Jong revert to his scintillating best, inspiring the club to two league titles during his five-year stay, with 112 goals and 56 assists in 204 games.
The £9m-rated hitman tried his luck in one of Europe’s top leagues once again in 2019, and his winning touch transferred to the Spanish giants.
Although he struggled to find the back of the net on a regular basis throughout his first campaign with the club, de Jong stepped up in the Europa League final, scoring two headers as the Rojiblancos overcame Inter in the final.
His heroics earned him a place in the club’s folklore, with Spanish outlet AS claiming he that can no longer do wrong in Seville: “He struggled with his productivity all season, but not in the final. These kinds of things make football beautiful. His goals make de Jong an eternal hero,” they wrote.
However, the well-travelled frontman appears to be on the move once again, and West Ham’s owners GSB must sanction a move for the Dutchman.
Michail Antonio is currently the only recognised striker in Moyes’ first team squad, and with his dodgy injury record and the added Europa League fixtures, West Ham will need extra reinforcements up top if they are to challenge on multiple fronts.
With de Jong excelling at holding the ball up and bringing others into play, his attributes would offer Moyes a different option in the final third of the pitch and could perfectly complement the likes of Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals in behind.
At this moment in time, goalkeeper Alphonse Areola is the capital club’s only summer acquisition, something which must change before the window shuts, and de Jong’s possible arrival would be a good way to make up for lost time.