West Ham eye swoop for £26m ‘a handful’

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West Ham need forward reinforcements. An eventual Europa Conference win shouldn’t mask the reality of their strikers’ strung form this season.


Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings had little criminal impact, and Michail Antonio, who was a fan favorite, also had a disappointing season.

The aforementioned trio’s lack of productivity paved the way for a new sniper to endear himself to the East London faithful.

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One player who has been tipped to do so is Boulaye Dia.


What’s up with Boulaye Dia at West Ham?

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport (via West Ham Zone), the Irons, alongside Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Roma are all keen on the Salernitana striker.

It is understood the 25-year-old is in favor of a move to the Premier League and participating in European football which has put the Hammers on high alert.

However, it’s a confusing saga as the Senegal international is currently on loan in Italy from Villareal and has a permanent €12m (£10.5m) repayment clause.

However, Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness) previously revealed that it could cost £27million to bring the player to the London stadium.

Why is Boulaye Dia so sought after?

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations winner has been in imperious form this season – that’s shown by his 22 goals in 33 Serie A appearances, as he ranks third in league scoring.

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The impressive reading means the 25-cap international has scored more goals than Raphael Leao, Olivier Giroud, Ciro Immobile, Romelu Lukaku and Dusan Vlahovic.

However, outside of Italy, the striker’s stats remain magnificent. Outside of Europe’s top five leagues, among his positional peers, Dia ranks in the top 21% for successful takes, assists and non-penalty goals per 90, to underscore his frightening productivity.

This led football journalist Josh Bunting to describe the player as a “handle”for which the majority of Serie A teams have not found an answer.

From West Ham’s perspective, the £30,000-a-week star could be a phenomenal upgrade over Michail Antonio.

The Jamaican has been a fantastic servant to the club, having played in burgundy and blue since 2015.

He has scored just five league goals and ranks disappointingly in the bottom 26% for goals without penalty, shot-creating actions and progressive passing by 90, according to FBref.

Michail-Antonio

Perhaps most worryingly, the Focal Point sits miserably in the bottom 3% for passing completion, a damaging reflection of his inability to tie the game.

Signing Dia would herald a new era, and his prolific nature definitely outweighs Antonio’s return.

If the Hammers have to juggle European competition again next year, they need to maximize depth and quality within the squad, and Dia would be a great way to do that.

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