Why Gabriel Barbosa would be a fantastic signing for West Ham
Barbosa, 23, has been in scintillating form in the last two seasons with Flamengo, where he just completed his loan spell from Inter Milan. And the report suggests that the Hammers would face tough competition for the hotshot with Chelsea also prioritizing him.
The Santos youth product moved to Italy with the Nerazzurri in 2016 but could not settle there. He had been sent on different loan spells to Benfica and Santos before making a name for himself with Flamengo.
He has scored 53 goals in the last two seasons and was the hero of the Copa Libertadores finals against River Plate, where he scored two late goals to help his side seal the historic triumph. His hard work has put him on the radars of several teams across Europe, including the London-based club.
Meanwhile, David Moyes’ first game on his return saw the hammers crush Bournemouth 4-0 in the Premier League after a disappointing time under Manuel Pellegrini. They find themselves 16th in the league standings with just 2 points away from the relegation zone.
The East London club have faced limitations in their attacking department with summer recruit Sebastien Haller being the only established striker available at Moyes’ disposal. Pellegrini had let go of Andy Carroll, Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic – all of whom are strikers – last summer.
Albian Ajeti was the only other reinforcement last summer from FC Basel and the Swiss international hasn’t been up to the standards of the Premier League, featuring in just 7 games without a start.
Out of the 25 goals the Hammers have plundered in 20 games, Haller has contributed the most with 6 and the rest of the goals coming from other areas on the pitch.
This clearly indicates that West Ham are having their fair share of attacking woes apart from the ones in the other department. To strengthen the squad for the second half of the season, Moyes has to find a striking option to see that they sustain in the top division for the coming season.
Speaking of attacking options, the manager has shown interest in Flamengo’s £20m-star Gabriel Barbosa and if he manages to make a deal for the Brazilian, West Ham would be capable of doing better.
The 23-year-old’s track record has improved in the last few months, even regaining his goalscoring touch. This would also improve Haller’s game by pairing up with the in-form striker to lead their attack.
This would be the right time for the Hammers to back their manager and land the star at the London Stadium. He could get them the extra goals and would also be capable of leading the line in the absence of the Frenchman.
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Though it may not be easy to acquire his services, Moyes must push hard to successfully sign him and help Barbosa to adjust to the conditions of the league within the given time. He would add depth to the squad and spring life to their dull attack.