Sunday, January 29, 2023

West Ham United Want This Exciting French Teenager: A Shrewd Addition For Slaven Bilic?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

West Ham United are reportedly hot on the heels of Ligue 1’s young sensation Yann Karamoh, which is quite unlike them going by the last two transfer windows. Surely, the London side needs young blood for long-term solutions, but with them craving for immediate success since finishing seventh in the 2015-16 season, they have only been linked with top names across Europe.

Slaven Bilic had to endure a terrible season at the new London Stadium as the Hammers finished 11th in the league table collecting only 45 points 36 games. Last season took them on a roller coaster journey that saw players leave, maddening inconsistency from the squad, and though they picked up some form in the midseason, it all ended with yet another poor patch.

Last summer’s transfer period went haywire for West Ham as Bilic targeted the best of players in the world and ended up with Simone Zaza up front and Sofiane Feghouli on the wings. Apart from the signing of Argentine forward Manuel Lanzini on a permanent, Bilic found rotten fruits in every sack and every move now has that apprehension hanging over their shoulders like a sword.

After Michail Antonio’s heroics in the striker’s role for the Hammers, Bilic is expected to keep him that way and could use him in the absence of Andy Carroll. Although the manager would still be having the likes of Enner Valencia alongside Feghouli, who has returned from Everton after his impressive loan stint, a move for Karamoh makes a lot of sense.

The French winger is touted by many as the next big thing in his country and given France’s current national team, there is every such possibility. Given the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe reaching the zenith at such a young age, Karamoh is surely worth a try. Hence, if there is a chance that the London club could get him for a cut-price deal, they should go all the way for it.

A right-winger by nature, the 18-year-old can also play as a centre-forward. He is known for his terrific pace on and off the ball and superior ball control.  He has been directly involved in nine goals for French side SM Caen last season helping them to survive relegation by the skin of their teeth.

An academy product of the side, Karamoh broke into their first team only in 2015 and is already a fan favourite. He is a regular for the France Under 19 side and the first team awaits. West Ham United have already made a bid of £8.7 million for him but face competition from Bundesliga side RP Leipzig, whose European stature could be a stumbling block.

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