According to Sky Sports, West Ham United have expressed interest in signing Brentford forward Neal Maupay. The Frenchman was omitted from the Brentford squad in the friendly against Dynamo Kyiv as he was not in the right frame of mind to play amid an uncertain future at the club. Maupay is valued at around £20 million, but the Hammers could face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Sheffield United, Brighton and Aston Villa.
Maupay’s success at Brentford
Once regarded as one of France’s biggest talents, Maupay made the surprise switch to Brentford back in 2017 after failing to crack the first-team at Saint-Etienne. He joined the Championship outfit for a fee of just €2 million, which turned out to be an absolute bargain for the performances he would put out later on.
Indeed, Maupay scored as many as 12 league goals and provided five assists in his debut campaign in the Championship. And the Frenchman upped his game to a whole new level last season, netting 25 goals in 43 matches. His service in front of goal helped Brentford achieve a mid-table finish in the league.
The 22-year-old also ended the campaign as the second most productive attacker in the league, just behind topscorer Teemu Pukki.
What can he bring to the table?
Maupay is not the most physically gifted forward, standing at just 1.73m. But, what he lacks in physique, he more than makes up for it with his pace and trickery in the final third. The 22-year-old has an excellent sense of positioning, which allows him to be at the right place at the right time. Maupay is blessed with immense technical quality as well, and that proves useful especially when probing the opposition.
Besides, the Frenchman’s relatively shorter frame allows him to be agile inside the penalty area. He can then use his quick feet and intelligent movement to deceive the opposing defenders.
Should West Ham make a move for Maupay?
Maupay will be a cost-effective option in West Ham’s bid to replace the departed Marko Arnautovic. The Londoners have been linked with the likes of Moussa Marega and Sebastien Haller in recent weeks, but Maupay’s £20 million valuation means he is a significantly cheaper option for Manuel Pellegrini.
That being said, the Frenchman is very inexperienced when it comes to top-flight football and could potentially struggle to take on the mantle of becoming West Ham’s main number nine. Hence, the Hammers should shift their attention to a more well-established attacker. Haller, for one, could be the ideal target for Pellegrini as he looks to kickstart a new era at West Ham next season.
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