The West Ham United fans have been pleased by the calibre of the players their club have been linked with so far this summer, but a recent report has divided the supporters propping up our bar.
According a recent report from talkSPORT, West Ham are interested in signing Mario Balotelli, although they face competition from Marseille for his signature. The Italy international has played his trade with Nice during the past two seasons, but he has confirmed he will depart the club at the end of June when his contract expires.
During his time in Ligue 1 Balotelli has quietly – by his standards at least – gone about his business in mightily impressive fashion and become a resounding success within his new surroundings. In the most recent campaign Balotelli managed to notch an eye-catching 26 goals from 38 appearances in all-competitions, including 6 from 7 outings in the Europa League.
A striker boasting those kind of statistics would typically be linked with the top-four clubs, but with concerns over his attitude and potentially disruptive impact on the squad, it seems the top teams will avoid a risky acquisition this summer. However, away from the spotlight of the British media Balotelli has flourished and demonstrated his clinical edge in the final-third to great effect and, although he is far from perfect, his positive performances have arrived in tandem with a more level-headed approach to his career.
The prospect of pairing Balotelli with Marko Arnautovic is one which will simultaneously excite and scare the West Ham supporters, as the hot-headed pairing could form one of the most devastating or catastrophic partnerships in the division. Although it would represent a risk, Pellegrini could be the figurehead to mould a fantastic attacking duo due to his calming presence and rich experience dealing with unpredictable egos.
It will be difficult for Pellegrini to convince Balotelli to agree terms with West Ham whilst Marseille are also in the running for his signature, but the prospect of a final stab at the Premier League and a move to the capital could prove decision during negotiations.
After failing to leave a lasting legacy for his antics on the field, Balotelli will feel he has unfinished business in the Premier League, and if he was able to emulate his form from Ligue 1 with the Hammers there’s no doubt that they would have a lethal front-line with him playing alongside the Arnautovic at the spearhead of the attack.
West Ham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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