West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring El Bilal Toure to the London Stadium over the remainder of the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by 90min, who claim that David Moyes has asked to be kept informed about the situation of the Stade Reims centre-forward ahead of potentially launching a late West Ham move for the 20-year-old.
However, the report goes on to state that Everton, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion are also reported to be interested in the Mali international’s signature, while the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Olympique Lyonnais and AS Monaco have also been credited with an interest in the striker this summer.
Finally, it is claimed that the Ligue 1 side would demand a figure in the region of £10m in order to part with the forward prior to the closure of the summer transfer window on Thursday evening.
Considering the considerable amount of potential Toure quite clearly possesses, it is not difficult to understand why Moyes – alongside a number of other Premier League managers – would be interested in a deal to bring the 20-year-old to the Premier League over the coming 48 or so hours.
Indeed, despite his tender age, the £5.85m-rated forward has already secured his status as a regular in the Stade Reims side, having made 68 first-team appearances over the past three years – 36 of which have come as starts.
However, the Malian has not simply made up the numbers for Oscar Garcia’s side, but he has also proven his undoubted ability in the final third, having scored nine goals and registered five assists for the Ligue 1 outfit.
It is also clear that Toure works exceptionally hard in a defensive capacity, with FBref ranking the youngster in the top 4% of forwards in Europe’s big five leagues for tackles per 90, as well as the top 11% for blocks, the top 24% for clearances and the top 22% for pressures over the past 365 days.
Furthermore, the 6 foot 1 talent – who is capable of operating from attacking midfield, on either flank and as a centre-forward – also poses a threat in the air, with FBref ranking the 20-year-old in the top 19% of forwards for aerial duels won over the last 12 months.
As such, with the player who Graeme Bailey dubbed a “major talent” being able to play across the front three, deadly in the final third and incredibly hardworking when tracking back for his side, there would appear to be clear similarities that can be drawn between the Reims starlet and Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane.
Indeed, Toure’s 30-year-old compatriot is also versatile enough to operate in any position in a front three, extremely clinical in front of goal – having scored a quite extraordinary 196 goals over 459 club appearances – and also impresses in defensive metrics, not to mention both players having cut their teeth at a lesser-known Ligue 1 side.
So, while it would be insincere to suggest that Traore is anywhere near Mane’s level at present, should the 13-cap international go on to fulfil his undoubted potential, the forward could well one day prove to emulate the Bayern star’s remarkable career – something that, should Moyes manage to get a deal over the line for the Reims talent, will be an incredibly tantalising prospect for both the 59-year-old manager and West Ham supporters alike.