Premier League

Opinion: Securing former partner is the key to unlocking West Ham poacher’s potential

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Eintracht Frankfurt were a forced to be reckoned with throughout the 2018/19 season, on the back of winning the DFB-Pokal. The German side reached the Europa League semi-final before losing to eventual winners Chelsea on penalties and finished seventh qualifying for Europe once again. The Eagles’ forward trio had been their deadliest weapon throughout those two fantastic seasons before it was broken up in the summer.

Sebastien Haller arrived at the London Stadium, and while the Frenchman has been West Ham’s second-highest scorer on seven Premier League goals, he is yet to reach the stunning heights he achieved in the Bundesliga. That is why the Irons’ desire for a new striker and interest in a move for former partner Luka Jovic is so enticing and could prove to be precisely what the pair need to find their best once more. However, they must move fast after it was reported that Napoli are trying to secure a loan deal.

Jovic went to Real Madrid for was believed to be £52.4m in the summer, but the forward has struggled to transition to life in the Spanish capital and has started just four times in the top-flight for the La Liga winners. Worse yet his productivity in front of goal has dropped off stratospherically from the previous campaign, scoring 15 fewer goals in Europe and the league combined.

A move to West Ham presents an opportunity for Jovic to contend for a regular place in the starting eleven, while also linking up with Haller, someone who he is known to operate well alongside. In the 2018/19 campaign, the duo contributed 47 goals in the Bundesliga and Europa League, but neither has hit double figures this term, two and seven respectively, as their careers have stalled while apart.

When at their best Frankfurt used a direct style that would be in keeping with the game plan David Moyes has implemented during his tenure back in charge at the London Stadium. During that campaign Haller proved to be a particularly effective provider, registering nine Bundesliga assists, whereas in London he’s been isolate and forced into poaching goals, providing just one assist. Getting Jovic to make runs off of the Frenchman will allow him to drop deeper and play as a target man who can bring others into the game but also finish off opportunities himself.

If Real Madrid are willing to let the misfiring Jovic go after one season at the Santiago Bernabeu for a reasonable price or on loan, then West Ham must consider bringing the Serbian international to the London Stadium. At 22-years-old he would not only be a good investment but likely improve the other assets at the Hammers’ disposal, namely Haller. With the trio of Jovic, Haller and Antonio West Ham could aim to emulate Eintracht Frankfurt’s attacking trio and fire themselves into the Europa League.

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