West Ham United’s success this season will largely depend on the form of their talismanic centre-forward Marko Arnautovic, but a recent report suggests that Manuel Pellegrini could be set to add another potent attacking talent to his ranks in the January window.
The physically imposing Austria international is a force to be reckoned with who the Hammers faithful simply cannot get enough of. A devastating finisher with a shrewd eye for a killer pass, Arnautovic’s technical quality has enabled him to become one of the best strikers in the Premier League, but it’s his strength on the ball which makes him a nightmare prospect for defenders to face up to.
Arnautovic is certainly not one to shy away from a physical battle with his opposite number; if anything, he thrives on it.
But he cannot be expected to single-handedly carry the goal scoring burden on his shoulders for the entirety of the season, and that notion can begin to explain West Ham’s interest in Gabriel Barbosa.
According to a recent report from Sport Mediaset, West Ham have already submitted an offer to sign him on loan when he returns to Inter Milan following his loan spell with Santos.
The 22-year-old has been in electric form for Santos this season with 16 goals from 31 appearances in Brazil’s top-flight, but it seems unlikely that his form in South America will be enough to earn him a genuine opportunity to prove himself at the San Siro.
With that being said, the Hammers should have a fantastic opportunity to sign a talent of huge potential to their ranks in January.
Although he’s much smaller than Arnautovic, Barbosa is a strong physical presence in possession who is seldom knocked off the ball by his opposite number.
Combine that with his bulldog-like approach in which he presses high up the pitch in a bid to recover possession, and it’s fair to say that a partnership which saw him and Arnautovic working in tandem in attack would be one of the most intimidating in the Premier League.
Barbosa will feel he has a point to prove after failing to establish himself at Inter Milan, and alongside Arnautovic he would have an excellent opportunity from which to do exactly that.
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