David Moyes may have managed to lift West Ham United to safety after a disastrous start to the league campaign but the manager is not totally convinced with the options at his disposal and is looking to add fresh faces to the side, this January transfer window. The manager wants to improve on a couple of positions in the squad and one player now on his radar is Fedor Smolov.
The skipper of the Russian national side, Smolov spoke to the media recently, criticizing the manager’s methods at the London Stadium, claiming that he will not fit in well at the club. However, that has not stopped tabloids from across Europe, from linking him with a move to West Ham before the end of the month.
Sources from Sky Sports are confident that the 27-year old is now interested in shifting to London this month and that West Ham United are expected to make a bid in the upcoming days.
Who Is Smolov?
Born and brought up in Saratov, Russia, Smolov is a product of the academy at Saturn Moscow and broke into the senior side with Dynamo Moscow, back in 2007. He only quit the club in 2015, four loan spells and 68 Russian top-flight appearances later. He joined Krasnodar in 2015 and managed to cement a place in the first team immediately.
A striker with extra-ordinary finishing abilities, Smolov has 10 goals and two assists in 12 top flight starts this season and has also been in form for the national side. He made his debut for the senior side back in 2014 and has 11 goals in 28 appearances, standing as the captain for the hosts of the World Cup later this year.
Known for his ability to find a way to score goals even from the most ridiculous of angles and distances, the 27-year old is a confident centre-forward, who revels in hold up play. He can lead the attack for his side with ease and his ability to find space in the final third, before unleashing a shot, makes him a dangerous player.
He is adept at creating chances with short passes but is essentially a poacher, who is always on the shoulder of the defenders, harassing them constantly. His work ethic is at times below par and he hardly does any defensive work but his attributes are perfect for the English style of play and he will be an instant hit, especially for David Moyes and his system at West Ham.
Chances at West Ham:
The Hammers have struggled in front of goal this season, scoring just 1.1 goals per game. Their strikers have just not done well enough to take the Hammers into the top half of the table and Smolov will be an exciting addition to the side.
His experience at the highest level and current form may even see him walk into the first team. Summer buy Javier Hernandez and English striker Andy Carroll have not been consistent enough while the likes of Diafra Sakho, Andre Ayew and Michail Antonio are not long-term options to lead the line for the London outfit.
It is understood that West Ham will have to pay around £15m for his services and given his quality, it will be a steal if they are able to lure Smolov to London.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored