West Ham United are being linked with a move for AS Monaco winger Keita Balde.
According to a report from Tuttomercato Web, the Irons are interested in the prospect of bringing the Senegalese winger to the London Stadium in January.
He is currently out on loan at Internazionale, but has faced tough competition in the wides areas from the likes of Antonio Candreva, Ivan Perisic and Matteo Politano.
It’s been a bit of a tough time for Keita, who has managed just one assist across 11 appearances in Serie A so far.
Keita first caught the eye during his time at Lazio, where in the 2016/17 season he scored 16 goals.
That earned him a €30 million (£26.5 million) move to France, where he spent one season before moving to San Siro on loan.
Apparently West Ham want to sign him, but they should definitely make sure it’s a loan move rather than a permanent one.
Keita a risk
West Ham understandably want cover for the injured Andriy Yarmolenko, but it would be a risk for West Ham to sign Keita permanently.
He has not been playing well at all in Italy, and Inter apparently won’t take up the option to sign him permanently and instead send him back to Monaco, where West Ham will then attempt to sign him.
His current form is poor, but he has showcased his talent in a European top five league before, meaning he might be worth a punt.
Keita has lost his way a bit with the Nerazzurri and perhaps just needs a change of environment to recapture his form.
West Ham should consider exploring the possibility of a loan move for Keita, and then going from there if it’s a success. They don’t want to be forking out millions on someone isn’t currently playing that well.
Yarmolenko was looking sharp before his injury, and a loan move could just see the club cover the Ukrainian’s absence rather than replace him.