Sunday, January 29, 2023

West Ham United Makes Contact With Olympiacos For Attacking Ace: How He Will Fit In Under Pellegrini

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to The Sun, West Ham United have made contact with Olympiacos regarding the potential transfer for Kostas Fortounis. The Hammers have recently made their first signing of the summer in the shape of Rodrigo and are keen to get more deals done in the coming weeks.

The report claims that they are currently working on arranging a £16 million deal for Fortounis. The Greek international is held at high-esteem by West Ham sporting director Mario Husillos, and a move to London Stadium could be on the horizon.

Fortounis can provide the much-needed depth

Fortounis is an attacking midfielder by trade, who can give competition to the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere and Samir Nasri. All of these playmakers have failed to surpass the 700-minute mark in the league this past season, mainly due to injuries.

Hence, the addition of Fortounis makes sense from a sporting perspective. However, his versatility makes him much more than just a regular attacking midfielder. Indeed, the Greek international can feature on both flanks, which means he can also provide cover for the likes of Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko in the wide attacking positions.

Fortounis is quite a strong attacker, and it is very tough to shrug him off the ball. He is tailor-made for the physically astute nature of the Premier League. However, the 26-year-old will need to be much more decisive in the offensive third. This is because a team like West Ham often receive limited opportunities.

How will Fortounis fit into the West Ham attack?

When Fortounis operates in a wide role, he acts an inverted winger. He likes to cut inside from the wide position to operate in a central role. And this goes hand in hand with Manuel Pellegrini’s overload in the centre of the pitch, where both the wingers in Yarmolenko and Anderson tends to cut-inside.

This also allows the fullbacks to make overlapping runs in behind the defence, enabling them to whip in crosses into the box. Pellegrini will have to deploy a 4-2-3-1 setup to accomodate Fortounis into his offensive unit. The Greek international will operate as the lone attacking midfielder. Alternatively, he can also feature as a wide playmaker, with Lanzini starting in the advanced midfield role. 

Therefore, it’s evident that Pellegrini is likely to face a selection dilemma in the event of Fortounis’ arrival. That is good, given the long and strenuous schedule of English football and given how well he could potentially fit into the West Ham attack – Fortounis would be a smart investment for the Hammers.

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