West Ham United are reportedly set to battle Arsenal to the signing of 21-year-old Alexis Claude-Maurice, according to football.london. The winger currently plays for Ligue 2 side Lorient, where he impressed last year, and he could be available for a price tag of around £10 million. There was also speculation linking the Frenchman to a move to Scottish side, Rangers.
Claude-Maurice is an exciting winger who is technically brilliant and has a knack of scoring goals. The Frenchman has been a part of the Lorient side since 2014, having come through the ranks at the club, playing for the French club’s B team and then making his senior debut in 2017. Claude-Maurice played a prominent role in the 2018-19 season for Lorient, making 36 appearances for the club, scoring 14 times and assisting 4 times in Ligue 2.
The young Frenchman has represented the French junior teams but is yet to make his senior debut.
He has been likened to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry due to his playing position out on the left and his movement and goal-scoring ability. The youngster’s contract with Lorient expires in 2021, which could perhaps make it a little easier to negotiate with the Ligue 2 side.
What will he add to the team?
Much like a lot of young French players playing all across Europe, Alexis Claude-Maurice too possesses that fearlessness to attack and take on defenders. The 21-year-old is a quick player who likes to dribble past the opposition and is very skilful.
He is a dynamic operator who likes to drive at the opposition’s defence and is a calm player in front of goal or when faced against a wall of defenders. Claude-Maurice is a right-footed player but is equally adept at shooting and passing with his left. A player who can beat defenders with his dribbling as well as score goals from inside or outside the box, Claude-Maurice could be a great addition to the West Ham team, which lacks the depth to challenge for European spots in the Premier League.
The Hammers don’t have too many options on the left side of attack, with Felipe Anderson being the only out and out left-sided attacker for Manuel Pellegrini, which means that they will need to add at least one more player who can play that role, which Claude-Maurice fits in perfectly.