West Ham United should sign Armando Broja for this summer to ensure they don’t fall behind their rivals next season, according to Frank McAvennie.
According to Goal, a whole host of clubs are queuing up to sign the 20-year-old this summer, with Serie A trio Milan, Inter and Napoli, alongside Premier League outfits Southampton and Newcastle all vying with the Hammers for the talented Chelsea forward.
The Albania international enjoyed a strong start to the season on loan at St Mary’s, having scored four goals in 13 games before Christmas. However, the second half of the campaign did not go as planned for Broja, with the player reportedly unhappy in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
The Hammers have been heavily linked with a striker for several transfer windows since selling Sebastian Haller to Ajax, but they have failed to bring anyone in, instead solely relying on Michail Antonio, and perhaps as a result, led to their lacklustre finish to the season domestically as well as on the European front.
The club have been strongly linked with a move for Chelsea forward Broja, with the Daily Mail recently highlighting their interest. But with David Moyes reportedly willing to stick with Antonio for the foreseeable, McAvennie has expressed his displeasure.
Speaking to West Ham Zone, he said: “They need to sign a good striker, but they’ve got to spend money.
“I was a wee bit upset when I [had] seen that statement from David Moyes, whether it’s true or not, about sticking with Antonio. To me, that means you’re not getting money to buy a striker. That’s not good enough.
“West Ham need to get going. They’ve done brilliantly in the last two years, they’ve been up there challenging – not just Champions League but in the Europa League. They just missed out and they’re in the Conference League but it’s still Europe; for a team like West Ham, that’s massive.
“They’ve got to keep buying players, everyone is buying players around about you.
“The midfield boy from Man City for Ukraine [Zinchenko], he’s playing for Man City and he’s such a star for Ukraine. So it shows the depth that they’ve got.
“This boy that was on loan at Southampton [Broja], why did West Ham not get him on loan? Or why can’t they get him on loan next year? If they don’t want to sell him, go and get him for a year on loan, because he was good at Southampton. I don’t know if he’d want to spend another year at Southampton.”
TIF Thoughts on Broja…
Considering the striker’s huge potential based on his exploits in the last campaign, this could be a great signing for Moyes, who could utilise another centre-forward as strong competition for Antonio.
Demonstrated by his rank in the 86th percentile for aerial duels won (4.28 per 90 minutes) when compared with positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues (as per FBRef), the Cobham academy graduate is dominant in the air, so the Irons would be getting a “dangerous” threat in front of goal, as stated by Hasenhuttl.
However, the £16.2m-rated hitman could be pricey on a permanent deal, so getting him on loan, as McAvennie states, could indeed be the more plausible option.
Therefore, Broja could be the right man for the Hammers if they are able to persuade Chelsea to do a deal for the Albanian youngster.