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At €32m This Serie A Star Will Solve West Ham’s Biggest Woes From Last Season – A Perfect Signing

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Keita Balde Diao

Will Keita Balde Diao Be A Good Addition For West Ham United?

According to a report from Goal Italy, Serie A club Lazio have accepted a €32million bid for forward Keita Balde Diao from Premier League outfit West Ham United. The Hammers have already had two previous offers of €20million and €25million rejected by the Biancocelesti before, but have managed to strike an agreement with the club, with the structure of payment and personal terms with the player remaining to be finalised.

The 22-year old has been hailed as one of the brightest young attackers in Europe and had attracted strong interest from several other English clubs including Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Everton too had an offer knocked down by Lazio, as per reports from the Liverpool Echo.

West Ham, after a slow start to the summer, have spurred into action over the past few days. The club confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Joe Hart from Manchester City on loan and have had a £24million bid accepted for Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic as well (Guardian).

The club has agreed on a deal for the transfer of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez as well from Bayer Leverkusen, according to Sky Sports. And with chances of signing Keita too, the atmosphere around the London Stadium will be extremely positive.

This comes in a stark contrast to their previous summer transfer window, where manager Slaven Bilic brought in several ordinary players like Simone Zaza, Jonathan Calleri, Sofiane Feghouli to name a few. But it seems like the manager and the club have learned their lessons and are going for more established names this time around.

Keita, an academy product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, moved to Lazio in 2011 and broke into the senior team for the first time in September 2013. While he had a slow start to life in the first team, the 22-year old enjoyed a great breakthrough last season and emerged as one of the best young players in the Serie A.

The Senegalese forward finished the season with a brilliant tally of 16 goals and 5 assists from 31 league outings, contributing directly towards a goal every 92 minutes he played – which is very impressive considering his age. A full international for the Senegal national team, he has made 12 international appearances and has found the back of the net thrice.

The 22-year old who primarily operated on the left flank last time around can play as a lone centre-forward, as well as an auxiliary striker behind a target man. Keita, much like most of the players to come through the La Masia, has an excellent ball playing ability and possesses a very good range of distribution.

An extremely potent dribbler of the ball, he has the pace to breeze past opponents like they are non-existent and has the penchant for cutting inside from the flank and having a go at the goal. Technically very well endowed, the Senegal man is also a very good finisher of the ball, making him an all-round package.

One of the biggest factors for West Ham’s struggles last season was a lack of goals and bringing in Keita is sure to address that issue in a big way. He will deliver the goods for Bilic, while offering him the added advantage of rotating his options, given his versatility.

At €32million, one might consider him a touch expensive, considering that he has just one good season under his belt. But Keita has shown immense potential already and has the ability to grow into the Hammers’ main man for many years to come.

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