West Ham United have enjoyed a tremendously productive transfer window so far with Manuel Pellegrini’s influence already beginning to shine through, but it appears they are in the hunt for a new striker in the final week of the window to wrap up a thoroughly encouraging summer of business.
According to a recent report from the Spanish media outlet AS (via Sport Witness), West Ham are lining up a move for Real Betis’ Antonio Sanabria, and they are willing to pay in excess of 20 million euros (£17.8 million) in order to secure his services.
With Javier Hernandez and the sub-standard Jordan Hugil the only natural centre-forward’s available to Pellegrini, it’s certainly a wise idea for the Hammers to sign a new striker before the window slams shut, but Sanabria is unlikely to be the player they need to resolve the issue.
First and foremost, Sanabria is only 22-years-of-age and has just two seasons of experience under his belt at Real Betis, which is hardly enough time to form a concrete judgement regarding his potential to thrive in English football.
Sanabria managed to bag 7 goals from just 12 appearances in La Liga last season before he suffered a knee injury at the end of November, and arguably the highlight of his season arrived at the Bernabeu in September.
With the score tied at 0-0 in stoppage time, Antonio Barragan floated a delightfully weighted cross towards the back post where Sanabria arrived to nod the ball into the back of Madrid’s net and seal a shock 1-0 victory over Los Blancos.
That strike clearly did his confidence plenty of favours as he went on to score a further 6 goals from his next 6 appearances, impressing plenty of La Liga pundits and supporters in the process.
However, injuries have plagued his development in the past two seasons and restricted him to just 24 starts in the Spanish top-flight, so it would be wise for the Hammers to consider options who have consistently proven both their form and fitness at the top level over a longer period of time.
There’s no doubt that Sanabria has the ability to become a hit at West Ham, but the timing of a potential move is far from ideal considering Pellegrini should be targeting a reliable goalscorer to spearhead his attack, rather than a player who could spend the majority of his season on the injury table.
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