Why signing Gaitan would be a cost-free gamble for West Ham
According to a report by The Guardian, West Ham United are interested in signing Argentine winger Nicolas Gaitan on a two-year deal.
The Hammers are joined by other English clubs like Aston Villa and Sheffield United, who are also planning to make a move for the Chicago Fire star ahead of the January transfer window (h/t The Guardian).
Gaitan, 31, will be a free agent once his contract with the MLS side expires this December. Although he has the option to stay for one more year, it is believed that the player would rather prefer a move back to Europe, as claimed by The Guardian.
A former Argentina international, Gaitan has scored 4 goals and assisted 11 times in 27 appearances this season.
The winger made a switch to the American side earlier this year, following a stint with Chinese outfit DL Yifang last year, according to Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham are reeling in the bottom half of the table, having slumped to a lowly 16th spot.
They last won a game in September after overcoming Manchester United 2-0 at home. Nothing less than a win would ease the pressure on Pellegrini, whose side has scored just 16 goals while shipping out 23 in 13 league games so far.
Clearly, they are facing problems at the back, with goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski ruled out until the end of next month.
Second keeper Roberto has been prone to errors often and it has affected the side’s rhythm at the back.
With shooting boots clearly missing for summer signing Sebastian Haller, Pellegrini would be in serious trouble until and unless he finds ways to bolster to his attack.
Hence, West Ham moving for an experienced attacker like Gaitan looks like a move in the right direction.
Also, the Hammers have lost attacking midfielder Manuel Lanzini to injury. Summer signing Pablo Fornals, on the other hand, has found it difficult to adjust to English conditions.
The Spaniard is yet to score or assist in the league, making life quite difficult for Pellegrini.
The left-footed Gaitan, meanwhile, has immense experience under his belt, having plied his trade with major European clubs such as Atletico Madrid and Benfica.
Gaitan has spent more than nine years of his career in Europe and has also won the Europa League with Atletico in 2017-18.
He is a three-time consecutive Portuguese champion, having won the title in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively.
With his midfield looking out of sorts, and wingers Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko still not performing up to the mark, Pellegrini targeting Gaitan looks like a move in the right direction.
With the player being a free agent by January, this would be a good opportunity for West Ham to add more firepower to their attack.
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The 16-time capped former Argentina man would also offer Pellegrini a variety of options upfront.
Hence, it clearly looks like a cost-free bargain for the Chilean and an under-performing West Ham side.