West Ham United are eyeing a summer move for FC Porto striker Moussa Marega, it has been claimed.
According to Correio da Manha(via Talksport), the Hammers are among the clubs linked with a move for the Malian international, who has been in red-hot form this season.
It is believed that Marega has a release clause of €40 million, which can be triggered in the upcoming summer transfer window.
And in this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of Marega’s potential move to the London Stadium.
Much like Andy Carroll, Marega is a typical number nine, who plays off the shoulders of the last defender and is proficient in the physical and aerial aspect of the game.
Indeed, the 27-year-old has won 2.6 headed duels per game this season, which is indicative of Marega’s aerial prowess that makes him a threat to the opposition defenders.
Marega is a deadly striker, who boasts an excellent scoring record. In fact, the 27-year-old has plundered as many as 41 goals in just 87 competitive matches for FC Porto while his tally of six Champions League goals this season is only bettered by Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi.
Moreover, he can also be utilised as the focal point of the West Ham attack even if they opt for plan B and take a more one-sided approach by whipping in crosses into the box.
This means that Marega can certainly revamp the West Ham attack, especially on the goalscoring front as the Hammers have often appeared overreliant on the services of Marko Arnautovic.
On the flip side, Marega is often criticized for his lack of composure on the ball, meaning he can often lose possession – something that will surely won’t go down well with coach Manuel Pellegrini. In fact, the Porto forward has been dispossessed at an average of almost 2 times per game this season.
Furthermore, the Malian international’s work-ethic is also quite questionable which needs to be worked upon in case of a move to these shores.
His link-up play is also something which can be a hindrance given the technically adept players the Hammers boast of currently on the attacking front.
Indeed, West Ham like to operate with two inverted wingers down the flanks, both of who look to move inside in order to either create chances or attempt shots on goal.
Marega, to that end, may not as useful as he would in a plain wing-oriented system, where the wide players would often look to whip in crosses into the box.
These challenges are likely to be encountered by the player in the event of a move but his goal-scoring prowess and the fact that he is in his peak years as a footballer can go a long way towards discounting the cons.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored