It’s no secret that West Ham United will likely have a striker atop their priorities this summer, but there’s one name which should sit above all…
According to Torino Granata, the Irons are now the front-runners to clinch Torino talisman Andrea Belotti ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
It is claimed that AS Roma’s appointment of former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho over ex-Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri has meant that the 27-year-old is now no longer likely to join their Serie A rivals, thus opening the door for West Ham to strike.
Belotti will enter the final year of his current contract next season, and despite being valued at £36m by Transfermarkt, the Italian could leave Turin for as little as €25m (£21.5m), according to Corriere dello Sport (via Manchester Evening News).
The Hammers have been linked with some interesting names in recent months, ranging from Brentford beast Ivan Toney to Chelsea’s forgotten man Tammy Abraham. Both are expected to cost in excess of £35m, yet neither have delivered on the biggest stage, or at least consistently in the case of the latter.
David Moyes only has one senior striker at his disposal in the injury-prone Michail Antonio following the departure of Sebastien Haller in January, so one forward – at the very least – is desperately needed.
Belotti fits the bill perfectly. So far this season, the 32-cap Italy international has found the net 12 times from 31 appearances, meaning he has hit double figures in six straight Serie A campaigns, as per Transfermarkt. This is even more impressive in recent seasons as Torino have been battling with relegation.
Belotti has also impressed in Europe, where he bagged six goals from six games before being knocked out by eventual quarter-finalists Wolves in the qualifying rounds in 2019/20 – he still scored in both legs against them, too.
Former Irons loanee Joe Hart was at the Italian outfit prior to his move to the London Stadium and played with the 5 foot 11 goal machine and he was left blown away by the striker’s ability.
In an interview with Gianluca Di Marzio, he revealed: “Andrea is similar to all the great strikers, English and not. It’s hard to compare him to someone else because he’s special. He’s Belotti and that’s it. He has instinct for goals, personality and he’s a team player: he’s always focused on his team and plays hard to help it.”
Once likened to Gianluca Vialli, the Torino marksman is a perfect blend of pace, strength and ability. “He knows how to score goals in all ways – foot, head, acrobatics,” claimed former teammate Salvatore Aronica.
Belotti doesn’t just provide goals either, as he has been lauded for his leadership qualities, which is hardly a surprise given he is the skipper of Torino. Their president Urbano Cairo once dubbed him a “real captain.”
All of these qualities point towards Belotti being an outstanding option to try and secure, especially if he’s available for just £21.5m. As good as Toney and Abraham could be under Moyes, it is the Italian powerhouse who should be targeted given his proven scoring record at an elite level.
GSB must look to sanction this deal as their top priority, he could be the man to take them to the next level with a place in Europe next season firmly in sight.