West Ham United have been linked with another Czech star this week…
According to The Athletic, Slavia Prague centre-back David Zima is attracting interest from the east London outfit this summer, adding that he is a player the Irons have scouted this season.
The 20-year-old is under contract until 2023/24 and doesn’t have a release clause, so the Czech champions will be in no position to sell, especially as they believe he has huge potential.
That could change should he perform well at the European Championship in the next month, whilst it is also worth noting that he has the same agent as Hammers star Tomas Soucek.
Despite his relatively young age, the 6 foot 3 colossus has been a regular presence in Prague’s starting XI. He played 35 times in all competitions last season, including some big Europa League ties against Bayer Leverkusen, Arsenal and Leicester City, having a major impact against the Foxes.
In their round of 32 knockout tie, the Czech beast silenced prolific talisman Jamie Vardy, keeping a clean sheet against him in both legs. The former England international lasted just over an hour in the first encounter before being withdrawn by Brendan Rodgers and was then thwarted by Zima again in the return leg.
As per SofaScore, he made three tackles and three interceptions, restricting Vardy to two shots off target and a disappointing 6.5 rating.
Valued at just £6.75m by Transfermarkt, football talent scout Jacek Kulig believes that Zima is someone who could generate a lot of money for Slavia Prague in the future and has likened his potential to that of Diego Godin.
“One of the most talented U-21 centre-backs in Europe in my humble opinion,” he tweeted back in January. “Slavia will make a lot of money with his transfer.”
Also described as a “complete and dominant” defender, Zima would certainly be a nice depth option for the Irons as they head into next season, where they will be tasked with the likely test of a minimum 50-match campaign thanks to their qualification for the Europa League.
David Moyes’ success with transfers of this ilk in recent windows should also provide further encouragement. For example, few would have heard of Vladimir Coufal until he sealed a bargain £5.5m move to east London.
He has been an instant hit and was arguably one of the clear contenders for the ‘Player of the Season’ award – WhoScored ranked him as West Ham’s fifth-best performer in 2020/21.
In Zima, Moyes could repeat this masterstroke and deliver the club another Coufal-like signing.