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Fyodor Smolov has a chance to show West Ham what they are missing in World Cup opener

West Ham United

Fyodor Smolov has a chance to show West Ham what they are missing in World Cup opener

The Russian forward was heavily linked with West Ham earlier this year.

The World Cup gets underway in Russia tomorrow afternoon, with the host nation taking on Saudi Arabia in Moscow. The home side will be hoping to make their territorial advantage count and get off to a flying start. The man tasked with grabbing the goals for Russia on this occasion is Krasnodar forward Fyodor Smolov.

Many are tipping the 28-year-old to have a similar breakout performance at the World Cup as a certain Andrei Arshavin did at the European Championships in 2008.

With 14 goals and six assists for his club this season, the Russia forward will look to grab the goals for his nation, working off of big-man Artem Dzyuba in attack.

For West Ham fans, they may get a taste of what they are missing.

The Hammers have long been linked with a move for the attacker. Back in January, it was reported by Sky Sports that West Ham were in talks to sign the Russia captain.

(Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Then, The Sun reported that a £15 million deal was close. That was in March, with Sky Sports also reporting the player wanted a deal tied up before the World Cup began.

Well, unless something drastic happens in the next 24 hours, that failed to materialise.

West Ham seemingly did not pursue Smolov as vigorously as previously reported and that could be a shame.

Fans in his homeland are positive he will be the catalyst for any success from Russia at the World Cup this summer and if he does bag a hat-load of goals West Ham will not want reminding of their apparent disinterest in concluding a deal.

Smolov has the perfect opportunity to show West Ham just what they are missing and put himself in the shop window for another club to come calling.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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