Speaking recently on the Here We Go podcast, Fabrizio Romano discussed West Ham United’s interest in Sevilla centre-forward, Youssef En-Nesyri.
With the departure of Sebastien Haller towards the beginning of January leaving David Moyes with only Michail Antonio as a recognised striker in his first-team squad, a new centre-forward appeared to be the priority for West Ham in the winter window.
One target looked to be Sevilla’s £13.5 million-rated 23-year-old, Youssef En-Nesyri, with David Ornstein reporting that the Hammers had tabled a €30 million (£26.2 million) bid for the Morocco international – who has scored 16 goals across 30 appearances for Julen Lopetegui’s side so far this season.
However, after this initial bid was turned down, Ornstein claimed that West Ham’s pursuit of En-Nesyri was all but over, as Sevilla did not consider €30 million to be enough to let the striker leave in the January market.
And, speaking on a recent episode of the Here We Go podcast, Romano provided slightly more information regarding the east London side’s move for the centre-forward.
He said: “They were trying for a lot of strikers because it’s part of football, trying for different ones. Obviously, in January too, in this kind of difficult market, it’s normal. You go to try to speak with many agents and clubs.
“But, we have to mention that En-Nesyri was the main option, but for Sevilla it was impossible. As always, they don’t sell their players in January, only during the summer. So, with En-Nesyri it was a no.”
Should West Ham try for En-Nesyri again?
TIF Thoughts on Fabrizio Romano’s comments regarding Youssef En-Nesyri…
Considering the fact that Romano claims En-Nesyri was West Ham’s main target in January, it would not surprise us if Moyes and his scouting team will be keeping a very close eye on the 23-year-old over the remainder of the season, perhaps in order to try once again for the Morrocan in the summer.
And, after comparing En-Nesyri’s stats with those of Antonio, it would appear that the Sevilla man could provide West Ham, should they indeed go on to sign the striker, with something of a different option.
En-Nesyri trumps Antonio in almost every attacking statistic, with his 12 league goals coming at a frequency of one every 103 minutes of action, compared to Antonio’s five league goals coming every 200 minutes, as well as bettering the 30-year-old’s shots per game rate by 0.2 (En-Nesyri 0.6 – Antonio 0.4).
However, En-Nesyri appears to be much less involved in build-up play, as Antonio betters the Moroccan in assists, average touches of the ball and key passes, as well as Antonio’s heat map showing that he prefers to drop deeper, while En-Nesyri’s average position is much more advanced.
As such, if West Ham were to sign the 23-year-old this summer, fans should not expect Antonio 2.0, but rather a player who appears to be something more like a poacher.