West Ham United owners David Gold and David Sullivan would be putting manager David Moyes in a ‘difficult position’ if they were to push through and sign Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma, says ex-BBC pundit Noel Whelan.
The Lowdown: Danjuma linked with West Ham
According to talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook (30 June), Gold and Sullivan were willing to pay £35m for the La Liga star, but Moyes was less keen on the proposition.
It was suggested that the Scotsman had doubts over the 25-year-old’s temperament, but the Dutchman’s agent hit back at Crook on Twitter, arguing: “You know nothing of his character”.
However, reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano recently revealed that the Hammers had failed to come to an agreement over personal terms with the player, meaning that any deal had come to a sudden halt.
The Latest: Whelan’s claim
Whelan, who used to work as a pundit for BBC Radio Leeds, has claimed that signings should be dependent on a manager’s verdict, rather than executives at the club.
Speaking with Football Insider, he proclaimed: “Managers should always have the final say on players. They are the ones who train with the players, they are the ones who see what they need week in, week out.
“Chairman should be there to offer the money when a manager wants a player. That is their role, they run the club, they own the club but leave everything else to a sporting director or manager to bring in players.
“They don’t pick them themselves. It’s not the right thing to do, it’s not fair on the manager as it puts them in a very difficult position, having to coach and pick a side when it’s not a player you’ve picked and identified as needing.
“That could be detrimental. It’s not just the player you’re bringing in. It’s that character that fits into the dressing room when you’ve made that family feel with players you’ve brought in over the years. That’s definitely important.”
The Verdict: Could be a good signing
Whilst it is essential that managers get to have the ultimate say in a potential signing, the arrival of Danjuma could provide Moyes with a fresh attacking threat, with the likes of Michail Antonio clearly in need of occasional rotation – last season he started all but three league matches for which he was available.
When analysing the 25-year-old’s underlying figures, the Netherlands international’s talent rises to the forefront, suggesting how he could be a good fit for West Ham.
Would Danjuma be a good signing for West Ham?
When compared with positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, Danjuma ranks in the 93rd percentile for non-penalty expected goals and touches in the attacking penalty area, and in the 85th percentile for progressive carries and dribbles completed (via FBRef).
The Irons are in desperate need of squad depth, particularly in attack, so with the likes of Danjuma possibly being brought in by the owners, Moyes’ options will have improved. Therefore, it may not be the worst decision to be made by GSB to sign the Dutchman.
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