The West Ham United fans in the Transfer Tavern are feeling optimistic about their club’s new era under Manuel Pellegrini, and they are hoping his presence will persuade a handful of quality players to join him at the London Stadium this summer.
The Hammers faithful lining up our bar are refusing to get carried away just yet, but they believe Pellegrini has the potential to transform their club’s fortunes next season. Naturally, the supporters appreciate that they will need to strengthen their squad with a number of key acquisitions in order to instigate a significant improvement.
After relying on Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini for flair and creativity throughout the season, Pellegrini should target a quality and versatile attacking player to improve his side next season, and one player who represents an ideal target to pursue is Bologna’s Simone Verdi (valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt).
West Ham have failed to replace Dimitri Payet since he departed the club for Marseille at the beginning of 2017, but the arrival of Verdi would finally hand the Hammers a marque replacement for the influential French forward.
Bologna’s star player was in sensational form for the club last season as he notched 10 goals and provided 10 assists from 34 Serie A appearances – a remarkable record considering his side finished just 4 points above the relegation zone in 16th place.
The 25-year-old possesses the incredibly unique ability to strike the ball to equal effect with both feet, which he demonstrated in devastating fashion by scoring two free-kicks with different feet during the same fixture back in November 2017.
Not only is Verdi ambidextrous and lethal from dead-ball situations, but he is also incredibly skilful, willing to dribble directly at his opposite number and perhaps most importantly, a clinical finisher from both long and close range.
The fact that Verdi is also capable of playing on both wings and through the middle proves there are plenty of parallels to be drawn between his abilities and those of Payet, so Pellegrini must finally replace the former West Ham favourite with one of Serie A’s most talented players this summer.
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