The transfer window is fast approaching and rumours are beginning to emerge all the time. Although clubs can’t bring players in under January 1st, they will have been sourcing targets for the last few months and will know the players on their radar. West Ham’s agenda is obvious to anybody who has an interest in the game. They need a striker, one that can score goals regularly and isn’t injury prone. The Hammers tried to do this in the summer, but failed in attempts to land Carlos Bacca, Alexandre Lacazette among others. It is more difficult to buy goal-scorers in January as they are at a premium and their existing clubs won’t want to sell mid-way through a season.
The way West Ham plan to get around that is to target fringe players at bigger English clubs and they would look to bring them in on loan. This would be beneficial for the Hammers as they would be getting a proven striker for minimal cost, while continuing to source long term solutions for the summer. Meanwhile, the player would get a more prominent role and the parent club would benefit from them getting regular first team football. Although a lot of the players linked to West Ham are not playing in the first team at the moment, they are all talented and have a future at their current club in some form or another.
The Telegraph link West Ham with Manchester United pair Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, two hugely talented forwards with big futures in the game. They have played a lesser role at Old Trafford this season, after the signings of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have strengthened the forward options, but they will have a part to play in the long term future at the club. This has been made clear by Jose Mourinho on a number of occasions this season. At the moment, they remain too inconsistent to be a regular, but they are still important to the club.
The Frenchman has contributed one goal and three assists in the Premier League this season, while Rashford has hit the back of the net on three occasions. Between them, they have played 1319 minutes in the league this season, which to provide some context is less than Zlatan Ibrahimovic (1440) has managed. They have been used as squad players, with Rashford in particular being utilised as an impact substitute. The pair are contributing when they can, but they haven’t been able to have a sustained run in the first team and that is what they need at this point in their development.
Although the report does state that West Ham know they are unlikely to land either Marcus Rashford of Anthony Martial, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Bournemouth found that out during the summer as they managed to pull off a coup and bring Jack Wilshere to the South Coast. In this case, there is a chance that United may be willing to let one go. If they do, it would allow the other to gain more football at Old Trafford as they wouldn’t be splitting game time between the two. Meanwhile the other would be starting every week in the Premier League for West Ham.
Personally, I think letting Rashford would be the better fit for both clubs. He is taller and would suit West Ham’s style of play more. Also for Manchester United, he is unlikely to get many minutes as a central striker due to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This is the position where his long term future lies and it would be beneficial to get more experience in the Premier League in the centre. Meanwhile, Martial is more effective in wide positions and could become a regular on the left hand side of Manchester United’s attack as the season progresses. There is nobody that has made that position their own this season and Martial could be the most effective in that role if he is given a run of matches. Manchester United will be reluctant to let either go, but if one joins West Ham until the end of the season, it would benefit both and surely that is worthwhile for the club.
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