According to Il Tempo (via talkSPORT), West Ham are on the verge of sealing a deal for Lazio attacker Felipe Anderson. The 25-year-old has been repeatedly linked with a move to the London Stadium in the last few weeks, and with a deal seemingly close for the Brazilian ace, manager Manuel Pellegrini must seek to complete his summer business by luring Alassane Plea to East London.
Ultimately, the new Hammers chief has been busy moulding his squad since taking over back in May, with goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, right back Ryan Fredericks, and centre back Issa Diop all joining the club, thus strengthening three positions on the pitch that desperately needed attention ahead of the 2018/19 season.
And with 25-year-old Anderson, a likely replacement for the injured Manuel Lanzini, seemingly on his way to the London Stadium, Pellegrini must now turn his attentions towards a striker, as the Hammers somewhat struggled in the final third last term.
Marko Arnautovic was the only West Ham star to reach double figures last season, and with Andre Ayew, who left the club for Swansea City in January, ending up as their third highest goal-scorer last time round, it’s clear that work needs doing in the striking ranks.
And with the futures of Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez uncertain, Pellegrini must seek to seal a deal for reported target Plea, who has been in outstanding goal-scoring form for Nice in the last few years.
The 25-year-old made the move to the Ligue 1 outfit back in 2014, and he has since proven his credentials with 44 goals in just 134 games for the French side, 21 of which coming last term to help the club finish eighth in the top-flight.
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Add in the 14 he bagged in Nice’s run to third place in Ligue 1 the season before, and the former France youth international has been one of the most prolific stars in European football in the last few years, and could well provide the missing piece of the West Ham jigsaw.
The addition of Fabianski, Fredericks, and Diop have gone some way to solve their defensive frailties, while Anderson will provide more flair and creativity to the Hammers attacking ranks which already consists of the hugely influential duo of Arnautovic and Lanzini – they now just need someone to put the ball in the net on a regular basis.
And that is why, with Anderson seemingly on the verge of moving to the London Stadium, Pellegrini must seek to complete West Ham’s summer business by luring £16.2 million-rated Plea (as per Transfermarkt) to East London.
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