While West Ham United did spend their money on key areas last summer, the Hammers have still struggled to reach the top seven. At the moment, they sit at 9th place behind Wolves and Watford, and are two points ahead of 10th-placed Everton.
Things could get even worse for them and having lost first-team stars to injuries, the club needs reinforcements. To make things worse, Marko Arnautovic’s never-ending saga with the Chinese Super League may have ended but the Austrian still could leave for a mere £45million (Times).
That does give the club a big issue going into the summer window. But with Robert Snodgrass turning 31 and Andriy Yarmolenko struggling with injuries in his first season, manager Manuel Pellegrini needs to target another winger.
Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Lukasz Fabianski have been the only bright spots among the newly-arrived stars and Michail Antonio has stepped up in Yarmolenko’s absence. But despite that, the 28-year-old’s skills aren’t enough, and it has been seen at times.
What West Ham need is someone agile and direct, something that Antonio isn’t but exactly what Ajax star David Neres is. The 22-year-old showcased his skill at the highest level on Tuesday night against Real Madrid. Ajax beat the reigning European champions at the Santiago Bernabeu.
While Dusan Tadic ran the show for the Dutch giants, it was the young David Neres who came a close second. The Brazilian forward was at his lethal best, giving Dani Carvajal nightmares. Neres had the Los Blancos right-back twisting and turning at his will, before eventually adding a goal.
That game showed exactly what the 22-year-old can do and more so, what he can do on one of the biggest stages. For West Ham, that’s something they need.
While Neres is a forward, the 22-year-old is versatile enough to play across the midfield line, even as an attacking midfielder. Add that to his creativity, guile and confidence in the final third and it comes together to make a very lethal player.
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The statistics back that up, with the Brazilian scoring six goals and creating 13 more this season, with 15 goals and 14 assists last season. While there are questions about his consistency and mentality when performing at a higher stage, Neres answered that against Real Madrid.
However, that kind of performance will bring about the biggest of the big from Europe (Express) and any move could be put in jeopardy. But in Manuel Pellegrini, the club have a great manager and more so, someone who can convince David Neres that the path to first-team football lies at the London Stadium.
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