West Ham: Massive striker blow; versatile defender to join; Euro 2016 star watches on
The Hammers have confirmed that club record signing Andre Ayew has torn his hamstring, just 35 minutes into his debut at Stamford Bridge, and will now require surgery and will be out of action for the next four months, say the Daily Mail. As a £20.5 million signing, it is a big blow for the club, and it will undoubtedly force changes in the club’s transfer strategy going into the final weeks of the window.
One option is for the club to seek another signing up front. This is likely to be the more difficult option given that the club have spent all summer trying to secure their targets, and it is unlikely they will have much luck returning to some of those targets now with only two weeks to go until deadline day.
Alternatively, it could mean that Enner Valencia will no longer be available for sale this summer. Valencia had been linked with a move away, unwanted by Slaven Bilic, but with Ayew out injured, there may be an opportunity for him to get some more game time, whilst Diafra Sakho may change his mind having demanded a move to get more first team football.
The club are also closing in on a deal for Palermo’s Achraf Lazaar, with the Express reporting that the fee will be as little as £2.5 million. For a 24-year-old with 16 international caps for his country, Morocco, that could well be a bargain for the London club.
Lazaar is well known for his versatility, able to play almost anywhere on the left hand side, although primarily a left-back. That will be vital for the Hammers as they seek to add option and depths out wide, whilst also covering for the injury to Aaron Cresswell.
Whilst Arthur Masuaku has already been signed, Lazaar would provide competition for the former Olympiakos man and would ensure that both players are at the top of their game, and would resolve another problem for Bilic who is keen to add another option on the wings to his squad.
Another bargain may be to sign Wales’ Euro 2016 sensation Hal Robson-Kanu as speculation has been sparked by the forward’s presence at Stamford Bridge to watch the Irons play against Chelsea on Monday night, according to the Sun.
The former Reading and Southend man can play out wide and centrally, and rejected a new deal at Reading in search of Premier League football, having since been linked with Swansea and Hull.
Robson-Kanu may not be prolific, scoring five in 35 games last season in the Championship, mostly deployed on the left wing, but he would provide some quality in depth which is currently lacking.
The 27-year-old may not be the most high profile of signings, but he is unlikely to demand huge wages and will not require a fee, so would almost certainly be worth the investment for the Irons to cover for Ayew and add depth to their forward ranks.
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