West Ham United have been linked with a move for Villarreal striker Boulaye Dia.
What’s the word?
As per a report from Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness), the Hammers are one of a number of Premier League clubs who are interested in signing the U.S. Salernitana 1919 loanee in the summer, with the likelihood being that his current side will choose to make his move permanent for around £10.5m, before immediately putting him up for auction.
David Moyes will face competition to complete the signing of the 5 foot 11 forward, however, with the same report stating that Nottingham Forest and Leeds United also maintain an interest.
Michail Antonio heir
However, now at 32 years old, it is getting to the stage where Moyes needs to think about a long-term replacement, and striker Gianluca Scamacca has not yet shown any signs of being able to replicate the Jamaica international’s ability in front of goal, netting just two goals in 11 Premier League appearances so far.
As such, Dia would be a fantastic acquisition, possessing very similar traits to that of the man that he would be challenging for a place in the starting eleven, but much younger, at just 25.
Once lauded as a “baller” by journalist Siavoush Fallahi, the 5 foot 11 talisman has made an impressive start to his first season in Serie A, bagging five goals and two assists in 11 league appearances.
Buoyed by the arrival of the Senegalese marksman, his side are now 10th in the Serie A standings, building considerably on a 17th-placed finish last season, in which they only avoided relegation by a single point.
What has also been impressive about the £18m-rated West Ham target is his ability to bring his teammates into the play, averaging 0.26 assists per 90 minutes in the past year, putting him in the top 12% of strikers in terms of providing goals for others.
These qualities have shades of Antonio’s impact at the Hammers, with his goalscoring talents over the past few seasons helping them rise from midtable fodder, up to qualification for the Europa League in the 2020-21 season, while a contribution of eight assists last season likens him to Dia, with both players unselfish and keen to get others involved in the play.
The current Irons no.9 still has a few years left in him yet, but David Moyes should move swiftly to ensure the services of the French-born forward, who is a fantastic long-term heir.