West Ham United are interested in signing Cyle Larin this summer, according to reports…
Turkish newspaper Sozcu claimed (via Sport Witness) that the Irons are keen to bolster their frontline ahead of a campaign in the Europa League next season and the Besiktas talisman is a player they have been closely monitoring.
It’s claimed that the Super Lig outfit will command around €15m (£12.5m) for the 26-year-old striker, although West Ham are facing competition from West Bromwich Albion, as well as other unnamed Premier League and Championship clubs.
Larin has previously been linked with Leeds United, as per the report, whilst his £28,000-per-week contract isn’t set to expire until 2022.
Hammers boss David Moyes has been longing for a new striker since the turn of the year after the club’s hierarchy sanctioned the exit of Sebastian Haller without finding a viable replacement.
It left the 58-year-old in a tricky spot as he could only call upon an injury-prone Michail Antonio to lead his line, whilst in his absence, the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Jesse Lingard were deployed as makeshift centre-forwards.
Clearly, he needs more options if the east Londoners are to put up a decent fight in Europe next season, on top of ensuring that this campaign was no mere fluke. Moyes could do with another forward in the mould of Antonio, which is where Larin could come in.
Also capable of playing out wide, the versatile 33-cap Canada international is most devastating through the middle, where he has delivered 23 goals and six assists in all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
Nine of those have come as a striker, playing in that role 16 times, and it is his form which has helped fire the Super Eagles to the Turkish title for the first time since 2016.
Once at Orlando City in Major League Soccer (MLS), Larin earned praise from then-teammate and legendary midfielder Kaka, who tipped him for big things.
“I think Cyle can go far,” Kaka said at an MLS media day, via Goal.com. “Cyle is a very good player and the third season for us will be great, but I think Cyle can play in a big team in Europe as well.”
His national team head coach John Herdman waxed lyrical about his qualities earlier this year, dubbing the 6 foot 2 beast “an absolute predator” who “has that ability”, via Total Soccer Project.
“There’s been real improvement and development in his game,” added Canada captain Atiba Hutchinson. “Not only the goals he’s been scoring, but his work ethic, his understanding of the game. He’s become a lot more tidy as a player.”
Larin earns further comparisons to the current Hammers star as he has a similar mix of explosive pace and brute power, having averaged 2.1 shots and 1.2 dribbles per game in the Super Lig, compared to Antonio’s 2.4 shots and 1.7 dribbles per match.
Moyes could well sign West Ham’s next versatile monster with a swoop for Larin, and at just £12.5m, you’d have to say it would be a snip.