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West Ham could seal a huge Antonio upgrade in Depay

To say West Ham United have been subpar this season would understate the avalanche of a decrease in form and performance, with the club looking to stave off relegation concerns after two European-qualifying campaigns. 

Sitting in 16th place in the Premier League with just four wins from 16 matches, the Hammers are in dire need of a second-half-of-the-season revival.

Consequently, the club are expected to be active in the January transfer window, and with just 13 league goals scored this term, there is certainly an onus on bolstering the offensive side of the flagging team.

Earlier in December, The Guardian issued a report stating that West Ham were interested in Memphis Depay, whose club FC Barcelona are allegedly mulling over severing ties with for free to ease the financial peril that casts a never-fading ominous shadow over the Camp Nou.

More recently, TuttoMercatoWeb stated that West Ham would be rivalled by Newcastle United for the Netherlands ace, all the more reason to act with conviction and lure him to London.

This would not be granted until the summer, but the Hammers could still attempt to forge a move this winter for a cut-price fee, earning the signature of a dynamic forward who could play a pivotal role in the ascension to prominence in the Premier League once more.

Huge Antonio upgrade

Depay is a prolific forward who can flourish across a wealth of roles within the fold; naturally a wide player, he finds success with surging, central runs and establishing pockets of space in and around the penalty area, ready to pounce and find the back of the net.

Signing for Barcelona from Olympique Lyonnais upon the conclusion of his contract with the French outfit last summer, Depay has not quite clinched the best of his form with the club, scoring 14 goals and serving two assists from 41 appearances in Catalonia.

However, when playing a talismanic role in France, the versatile £172k-per-week phenom truly soared; scoring 76 goals from 178 appearances, also snatching 55 assists, Depay steadily earned his name as a world-class forward on the global stage.

And with 43 goals from 86 appearances for the Netherlands, where he does often flourish as the focal point in offence, the 28-year-old’s success with a team like the Irons would surely replicate his endeavours with other outfits.

Potentially replacing a player such as Michael Antonio, Depay would bring vibrancy and tenacity to east London, steering the club back to the upper end of the table once again.

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West Ham United manager David Moyes before the match

1. West Ham kicked off 2022 with an away win against Crystal Palace. Which player scored a brace?

Antonio, who has been a stalwart for the Hammers, is nearly at the end of his cycle with the club. Having scored 66 goals from 249 appearances, he has managed just two from 15 displays in the top flight this term, and at 32 years old it might be time to replace the striker with someone of Depay’s calibre.

Moyes would likely oversee an increase in goals and an increase in offensive fluidity with a coup for the “genius” – as hailed by Jonathon Liew – that is Depay, who could be the catalyst for change in east London.