Why Signing This Atlético Forward Can Save West Ham’s Season

According to recent reports, West Ham United are all set to make a £12 million move for Argentine striker Lucas Pratto. 28-year old Pratto, who plays for Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro, has emerged as an option for the Hammers following their poor start to the season, that sees them in the 13th place in the Premier League table.

West Ham have found it extremely hard to score this season, with all their striking options hugely misfiring. Slaven Bilic’s side have managed to score only 19 goals this term, and are 14th in the league in terms of goals scored.

Summer loanees Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri have been abysmal and are way back to their parent clubs whereas Andy Carroll’s injury issues have kept him out for most part of the season. Diafra Sakho too has had problems with injuries, while youngster Ashley Fletcher hasn’t done a great deal to impress. Wide player Michail Antonio has been their major goal threat and is the Hammers’ leading goalscorer so far with 7 goals.

There has been absolutely no shortage of chances created for the Hammers, having managed to carve out 174 clear-cut opportunities, eighth best in the Premier League this term, but their wastefulness and a seeming lack of a proven goalscorer has hampered them badly this season. So, it isn’t a surprise that Bilic is on the lookout for a striker. A huge number of centre-forwards have been linked with a move to the Olympic Stadium and now Pratto has appeared as a serious target.

Pratto, moved to Atletico Mineiro in 2015 and has been in prolific form for his team. The Argentine has scored a total of 41 goals in 101 appearances for the Brazilian side, 19 of which have come in 2016. On the back of his impressive performances, Pratto recently broke into the Argentine National Team and was picked ahead of Gonzalo Higuain for the World Cup Qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela.

And he made the chance count, scoring his first goal for the Albiceleste against Venezuela in just his second appearance. And he followed it up with another goal against bitter rivals Colombia in the month of November showcasing his abilities on the big stage.

The 28-year old is a highly intelligent player and is very good at holding up the ball to bring in his teammates into play. Standing at 6ft 2in, he is strong, physically well-built and can also perform as a target man for the Hammers if they bring him in. For a man of his size, he possesses a decent turn of pace and is quite mobile. And add to that his impressive work ethic and willingness and determination to help the team in any way required, the Hammers will have an asset at their hands.

Pratto may not be the biggest of the names that has been linked with a transfer to West Ham, he may have been an unknown commodity in the European circles, but with his performances over the past two years for his club, he has proven that he could be the solution to the Hammers’ attacking woes this season.

Written by Raghavendra Goudar

Mechanical Engineer, avid reader and a football fanatic.

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