West Ham United are one of the teams interested in signing Gerard Moreno this summer…
That’s according to Calciomercato, who claim that after an impressive campaign with Villarreal, the 29-year-old talisman is attracting interest from the Premier League and Serie A.
It’s thought that three teams have come forward with interest, including the Irons.
Premier League rivals Newcastle United and Jose Mourinho’s new team, AS Roma, are the other two mentioned in the report, whilst it remains to be seen how much of a fee Moreno would command.
David Moyes is in desperate need of a new striker this summer, so it’s hardly a surprise to see the East London outfit linked to an array of names, of which the likes of Chelsea outcast Tammy Abraham and Czech sensation Adam Hlozek have been mooted.
You could forgive fans at the London Stadium approaching this situation with caution as the Hammers have had a sordid past when it comes to bolstering their frontline.
For many, many years they have signed questionable options – the latest being Sebastian Haller, who left after just 18 months, with GSB making a £20m loss on his services.
Jordan Hugill, Simone Zaza, Nikica Jelavic, Mauro Zarate, Marouane Chamakh, Modibo Maiga and Andy Carroll are several examples of the club messing up such a vital position.
Moreno, who has been in career-best form this campaign, can buck that trend to potentially become West Ham’s best forward since Paulo Di Canio graced the pitch at the Boleyn Ground.
Of course, there have been fleeting signs since then, with the likes of Demba Ba and Marko Arnautovic doing the Hammers a sterling job whilst Michail Antonio is probably the best contender for such a tag, though he was never an out-and-out frontman until recently.
The Villarreal striker has been immensely prolific this term, providing ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery with a whopping 30 goals and 11 assists in 46 appearances in all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
Such form has led to La Liga expert Sid Lowe dubbing him ‘arguably Spain’s best player right now’ in April this year.
His ability to play anywhere through the middle, deeper or more advanced, is hugely appealing too – almost in that sort of Harry Kane role for arch-rivals Spurs.
In fact, during his time at Espanyol, he drew comparisons to Karim Benzema.
“Early on, he was in and out of the team, but under Quique, he became more like a 9.5 – like Karim Benzema, and it allowed him to become our goalscorer, but also our playmaker,” explained Geoff Gillingham to La Liga Lowdown.
“Gerard Moreno is Lionel Messi. Only from “Villarreal” is how El Pais described him earlier in the season and the glowing endorsements do not stop there either.
Villarreal president Fernando Roig believes he’s “perfect” and “capable” of adapting to different conditions.
Indeed, only Messi outscored (30) and outranked (8.52) Moreno in the Spanish top-flight this season but it’s clear that the 29-year-old talisman has an ideal mix of skills to be a hit in the Premier League.
Each game in La Liga this term, he averaged 1.9 aerials won, displaying his strength and power despite only being 5 foot 11, as well as 2.9 shots, 2.2 dribbles and 1.3 key passes, proving to be a dual-threat up top as he can also be a major source of creativity, via WhoScored.
All in all, these are all characteristics that bolster his claims to be the Irons’ best striker since the enigmatic Di Canio.
David Sullivan and co must look to sanction a swoop for the Spanish monster, whatever the price.