As suggest the FFC, West Ham is in need of reinforcements up front. Despite a potential victory in the Europa Conference, the poor performances of their strikers this season cannot be overlooked.
Both Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings have made minimal impact, and even Michail Antonio, a fan favorite, has had a disappointing season. The lack of productivity from these players has created an opportunity for a new striker to win the hearts of the East London supporters. One player who has been identified as capable of doing so is Boulaye Dia.
According to reports from Gazzetta Dello Sport (via the West Ham Zone), West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, and Roma are all interested in signing the Salernitana striker. The 25-year-old is believed to prefer a move to the Premier League and wants to compete in European competitions, which has caught the attention of West Ham. However, the situation is complicated as Boulaye Dia is currently on loan in Italy from Villareal, and there is a buy-back clause of €12m (£10.5m) in his contract. Additionally, Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness) previously mentioned that it could cost £27m to bring the player to the London Stadium.
The winner of the 2021 African Cup of Nations has been in outstanding form this season, evident from his impressive tally of 22 goal involvements in 33 Serie A matches, making him the league’s third-highest scorer. This remarkable performance surpasses the goal totals of Raphael Leao, Olivier Giroud, Ciro Immobile, Romelu Lukaku, and Dusan Vlahovic.
Furthermore, the forward’s statistics remain exceptional even outside of Italy. Among his peers in leagues outside of Europe’s top five, Dia ranks in the top 21% for successful take-ons, assists, and non-penalty goals per 90 minutes, highlighting his impressive productivity. This has earned him the reputation of being a formidable opponent, with many Serie A teams struggling to find an answer to his threat.
Considering West Ham’s perspective, acquiring Dia, who earns £30k per week, would be a significant upgrade over Michail Antonio. While Antonio has been a loyal servant to the club since 2015, his goal-scoring record has been limited to just five league goals. According to FBref, he ranks in the bottom 26% for non-penalty goals, shot-creating actions, and progressive passes per 90 minutes. Of particular concern is his abysmal pass completion rate, which places him in the bottom 3%, reflecting his struggles to contribute effectively in the team’s build-up play.
The signing of Dia would usher in a new era for West Ham, as his prolific nature unquestionably surpasses Antonio’s contributions. If the Hammers aim to compete in European competitions once again next year, it is crucial to maximize the team’s depth and quality, and Dia would undoubtedly be an excellent addition in achieving this goal.