Transfer Opinion: West Ham waiting game for £16m star is a risky strategy

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West Ham United’s pursuit of Eberechi Eze has been no secret, and the 22-year-old Englishman has been widely touted as the subject of interest from the London Stadium. However, it has recently been suggested that the Hammers have put a strategy in place which will see them hold off on making a move for Eze, at least until they have sold some of their stars, such as Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson.

With Crystal Palace already said to have had a bid of £12m including add-ons rejected, along with suggestions the Eagles are set to table an improved offer, playing the waiting game for Eze is a risky move for the Hammers hierarchy to make.

In the Championship last term, the central midfielder scored 14 goals, more than any other player currently in the R’s squad. Additionally, the England youth international also provided eight assists in the second tier, the joint-most of any Queens Park Rangers player. Despite playing as a midfielder, Eze was directly involved in 22 of Mark Warburton’s side’s 67 league goals, a whopping 32 per cent.

One of the most impressive aspects of Eze’s performances during the 2019/20 campaign was his incredible versatility. The midfielder primarily operated from either as a left sided attacking midfielder, where he started on 19 occasions, or as a central attacking midfielder, 13 starts. However, in total, the 22-year-old featured in seven different positions throughout the campaign, highlighting his incredible tactical flexibility.

It is believed that the Championship side are holding out for £16m for their star man, but the 22-year-old has just entered the last year of his current deal in West London and it has been suggested they may be forced to let him leave for less, instead of nothing next term. Though that may buy West Ham some time, with the Eagles already moving for their man, West Ham must not be left behind.

It would be understandable if the Hammers were considering waiting to sell before spending a significant outlay on an arrival, but considering Eze is valued at £16m the Irons owners ought to consider a change of strategy. West Ham beat Crystal Palace to the signing of Jarrod Bowen in January, and Roy Hodgson’s side appear to be firmly in the race again this time around. If West Ham wait too long, then they may risk missing out on their transfer target.

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