The West Ham United fans have been in buoyant mood in the Transfer Tavern this week after their side took a huge step towards securing their Premier League survival with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday afternoon.
David Moyes’ side claimed a valuable three points against their fellow relegation-rivals at the London Stadium on Saturday to move 5-points clear of the relegation zone with 7 fixtures left to play. The mood inside the London Stadium was dramatically different to the toxic atmosphere which characterised West Ham’s clash with Burnley prior to the international break, as a goal from Joao Mario and a brace from Marko Arnautovic provoked pandemonium in the stands.
In the aftermath of proceedings, the West Ham supporters were feeling increasingly relaxed about their prospects this season and have even turned their attention towards potential summer signings, and one man who has featured in discussions is Fedor Smolov of FK Krasnodar (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt). According to Football.London, Smolov was a target for The Hammers in January, but they eventually decided to purchase Jordan Hugill from Preston North End as an alternative.
However, rumours have re-emerged in recent days due to comments from Smolov’s agent who has urged his client to make a transfer to a European club. Signing a player from the Russian Premier Liga would undoubtedly represent a risk for West Ham due to the gulf in class between the Russian top tier and the Premier League, but if they are going to sign him they should ensure the contract is signed before the World Cup kicks off this summer.
Buoyed by the backing of the home supporters, Smolov is likely to enjoy a successful World Cup, and if he manages to impress on the international stage there is no doubt his stock will rise significantly this summer. At 28-years-old, Smolov is something of a late bloomer as his career was glaringly mediocre prior to his switch to Krasnodar nearly three seasons ago, but his record of 61 goals and 16 assists from 94 appearances proves that he has finally blossomed into a clinical striker.
With Javier Hernandez struggling for form and Andy Carroll injured for the majority of the season so far, West Ham have been lacking the presence of a reliable striker, but signing Smolov could provide the solution to that particular problem. Proven goal-scorers rarely come cheap, especially on the back of a successful international tournament, so West Ham must ensure they conclude a deal for his services before the World Cup kicks off if they want to avoid being priced out of a potential transfer.