West Ham United are closing in on a deal to bring Borna Sosa to the London Stadium this summer.
That’s according to a report by Croatian media outlet Index, who claim that, with the 24-year-old full-back’s representatives having been in England since Monday in order to discuss a switch to David Moyes’ side, the VfB Stuttgart defender is now believed to be very close to sealing a move to east London.
The report goes on to state that the Croatia international’s current side have already begun their search for a replacement for the left-back, with Sosa expected to depart the Mercedes-Benz Arena in a deal worth around €20m (£17m) in the coming days.
However, the report does go on to suggest that Newcastle United are also interested in a move for the former Dinamo Zagreb starlet, with it being said that Eddie Howe’s side would have no trouble in outbidding the Hammers in the race for the wing-back due to the club’s mega-rich Saudi Arabian owners.
While Filip Kostic’s increasingly likely move to Juventus is sure to come as a gutting blow to Moyes – with it being evident that the Serbia international was the 59-year-old’s primary target for a new left-back this summer – should the Scot manage to get a £17m deal over the line for Sosa in the Eintracht Frankfurt star’s place, it would certainly help to ease this blow.
Indeed, the Stuttgart sensation appears to very much be a player in the same attack-minded mould as Kostic – something that was evident over the duo’s performances in the German top flight last season.
Over Sosa’s 28 Bundesliga appearances last time out, the £20.7m-rated talent was a constant creative threat for VfB, scoring one goal, providing eight assists and creating nine big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 2.2 key passes, 2.5 crosses and completing 1.3 dribbles per game.
These metrics saw the £15k-per-week wing-back who Sven Mislintat dubbed “a real weapon” average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.26, not only ranking him as Pellegrino Matarazzo’s best performer in the league but also as the joint 13th-best player in the German top flight as a whole.
In comparison, over Kostic’s 31 Bundesliga appearances in 2021/22, the £21.6m-rated wing-back scored four goals, provided nine assists and created 16 big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 2.8 key passes, 3.3 crosses and completing 0.8 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the £43k-per-week talent average an impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.25, ranking him as Frankfurt’s best performer in the league and the 15th-best player in the division as a whole.
As such, while it is true that Kostic does better Sosa’s metrics in a number of areas, considering the fact that the Croatian is five years the Serbian’s junior, the latter could still improve upon his already impressive attributes – something which cannot part be said about the 29-year-old, who is likely already at his peak.
Indeed, while Kostic may well have represented an option who would immediately improve Moyes’ first-team squad in the short-term, Sosa would be a signing who could gradually take over the reins of Aaron Cresswell on the left of the Hammers backline, before becoming the club’s first choice in the position for many a year to come.
So, considering all of the above, there is an argument to be made that the Stuttgart star is a much better investment for the Irons to splash the cash on this summer, as the 24-year-old’s long-term prospects are certainly much brighter than those of Kostic.