Tuesday, January 31, 2023

West Ham Identify This Serbian Forward As One Of Their Top Targets: A Smart Choice By 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 Daily Star, West Ham United have identified Aleksandar Mitrovic as a top target this summer. The Hammers are preparing for life without Marko Arnautovic next season, and the Fulham forward is believed to be one of the leading candidates to replace the Austrian.

The report further claims that West Ham are also interested in Salomon Rondon and Maxi Gomez. But, Mitrovic might be available on a cut-price after being relegated with Fulham during the 2018/19 campaign.

Mitrovic’s season at Fulham

Mitrovic did relatively well to live up to this €20 million price in the recently concluded Premier League campaign. The Serbian international plundered 11 goals and was an ever-present figure in the Fulham attack, featuring in 37 of their 38 games in the league.

However, lack of productive output from fellow attacker made sure the Cottagers were relegated with just 26 points on the board. In fact, Fulham as a whole scored only 34 goals in 38 matches, 11 of which were scored by Mitrovic. That means the ex-Newcastle United striker was involved in almost one-third of Fulham’s goals throughout the entirety of the campaign.

What can Mitrovic bring to the table?

Mitrovic is advertised as an aggressive centre-forward, who heavily relies on his physicality. Indeed, the 24-year-old has an imposing figure and is often difficult to be shrugged off the ball. And this makes him a tailor-made fit for the physically astute nature of the Premier League.

But, Mitrovic’s overall game is not only restricted to his physical prowess. The Fulham attacker has a tall frame of 1.88m, which makes a scourge for the defenders in the air. This is rather evident given the fact that six of eleven goals this past season have come from headers. He also won a whopping 239 headed duels during the 2018-19 campaign – more than anyone else in the league.

Should West Ham make a move for Mitrovic?

Mitrovic would be an excellent replacement for Arnautovic. Although the Serbian may not be able to offer much mobility in the final third, his physical and aerial prowess means that Manuel Pellegrini will be able to utilise him as a target man.

And that could prove to be highly useful given the quality of West Ham’s wingers as well as overlapping fullbacks. But most importantly, he will also be the easiest target to land for West Ham, especially with Gomez looking seemingly intent on remaining in Spain and with Rondon also being targeted by both Newcastle and Wolves.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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