Why West Ham should move for Mbwana Samatta in January
Samatta had been a subject of interest from several Premier League clubs in the summer and while a move failed to materialize back then (h/t The Sun), the prolific hitman has managed to put himself back on the radar of the English clubs.
Born in Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, Samatta started his footballing education at African Lyon in his homeland before moving across the continent to Congolese giants TP Mazembe, where he shot to prominence with his heroics in the club’s triumphant CAF Champions League campaign in 2015.
That paved the way for a move to Europe with Belgian outfit Genk in 2016 and Samatta has since gone on to establish himself as one of the most prolific strikers outside the top-five leagues in the continent.
The 26-year-old gobbled up 25 goals to propel Genk to the domestic title in the previous campaign and he has already hit the ground running this term, bagging 8 goals in 18 appearances across all competitions, including a couple in the Champions League.
The 51-cap Tanzanian international boasts of an eye-watering tally of 74 goals and 19 assists in 181 appearances for Genk in all competitions till date.
To put things into perspective, West Ham would bag a real coup if they manage to beat off competition in the race to sign Mbwana Samatta in January.
The Tanzanian goal machine is a player in the right age bracket and if his exploits in Belgium are anything to go by, he certainly looks good enough to make the step up to the Premier League in the near future.
The Hammers have gone completely off the boil, following a promising start to their Premier League campaign.
Samatta, who has been firing on all cylinders in Belgium in recent seasons, could prove to be the inspiration that they need to launch a bid for a top-six finish.
Despite spending a fortune on Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals in the summer window, West Ham have only managed to score 14 goals in the Premier League so far.
Haller has found the net on four occasions but he has largely been forced to feed on scraps, with creative players like Fornals, Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini struggling to make an impact on a consistent basis.
The Hammers opted for a complete overhaul of their striking options in the summer, with Javier Hernandez, Lucas Perez, Andy Carroll and Marko Arnautovic making way for Haller and Swiss starlet Albian Ajeti.
Those moves are yet to pay rich dividends for Manuel Pellegrini and although Haller has shown strong signs of promise, Ajeti is still completely unproven at the highest level.
To that end, someone like Mbwana Samatta, who has been making waves with his prolific returns in Belgium, could add a lot more firepower to the club’s attack.
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That the 26-year-old is starting to deliver the goods in the Champions League is indicative of the fact that he has all that it takes to cut the mustard in any of the top-five elite leagues in Europe.
With that in mind, Pellegrini completing a deal for Mbwana Samatta during the mid-season trading period could be a masterstroke and one that could possibly go a long way towards helping the club achieve a better goalscoring record in the Premier League.