West Ham United are reportedly keen on a move for Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, as manager David Moyes seeks further summer additions.
According to journalist Ryan Taylor – speaking to GIVEMESPORT – the Hammers are said to have “genuine interest” in signing the 28-year-old in the current window, despite the suggestion that the Poland international is not totally enthralled by the idea of moving to the London Stadium.
Asked to verify the east Londoner’s interest in the 69-cap gem, the transfer insider stated:
“That’s genuine interest. Which I find kind of interesting because he’s a bit more of an established player, which would align with the attempted [Jesse] Lingard move as well. Obviously, Lingard’s getting on a bit now. He’s experienced. Same with Zielinski.”
The former Udinese man – who made the move to Naples back in 2016 – is said to be available for a fee in the region of £30m, with David Moyes and co searching for a new playmaking recruit after seeing long-term target Jesse Lingard join Nottingham Forest.
While that may have been a painful snub by the Englishman, Lingard’s decision not to reunite with the Irons could well prove a blessing in disguise if it does lead to the arrival of Zielinski, with the £106k-per-week “baller” – as described by Patrick Boyland – set to be a real quality addition.
The £36m-rated gem has proven himself a classy operator in the centre of the park in recent years, notably ranking in the top 9% for pass completion among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues.
The most recent campaign, in particular, saw the 5 foot 11 genius enjoying a hugely profitable season in Serie A, as he netted six goals and provided five assists in 35 league games, while also averaging an impressive 1.4 key passes per game.
A player with a real creative touch and someone who can be the difference maker in the final third, the one-time Empoli loanee seemingly shares a likeness to that of Manchester City talisman Kevin De Bruyne, with Zbigniew Boniek previously going as far as to suggest that his compatriot has “more quality” than the Belgian ace.
Although that assessment may now appear somewhat foolish following the impact that De Bruyne has made both in Europe and the Premier League in the years since, it is a statement of the talent that Zielinski possesses that he can even be mentioned in the same breath as the City star.
The 31-year-old has swooped four league titles and a plethora of other domestic honours in what has been a glittering seven-year stint at the Etihad, putting any initial doubts over his £55m price tag to bed emphatically to become one of the most impactful players in the division.
The joint-record holder for the most Premier League assists in a single season (20) – alongside Arsenal legend Thierry Henry – the one-time Chelsea flop has thus far chipped in with 86 goals and 121 assists in 306 games in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side, a truly remarkable haul for any midfielder.
Reaching such heights may seem improbable, although if Boniek is to be believed then Moyes could well have a player of similar quality on his hands if Zielinski is plucked from the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium this summer.
West Ham have already secured one high-profile name from Italy in the form of Gianluca Scamacca in recent days, why can’t they wrap up another?