West Ham United Among Several Clubs Interested In This Talented Forward: Good Choice For Moyes?

Zenit St. Petersburg's Iranian forward Sardar Azmoun warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League group G football match between Zenit and Lyon at the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg on November 27, 2019. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Area Napoli, West Ham United will face fierce competition from Arsenal, Leicester City and Everton in pursuit of Zenit St. Petersburg forward Sardar Azmoun this summer. The same source has also claimed that the Russian giants are planning to offer the player to the Gunners and the Toffees to potentially spark a bidding war which could hamper the Hammers’ chances of landing him during the summer transfer window.

Azmoun’s Incredible Form In The Russian Top-Flight

It is believed that Zenit are demanding a fee in the region of €30m-35m for their prized asset as they are aware of the growing interest in Azmoun (via Area Napoli). The Iranian striker has been a breath of fresh air at St. Petersburg following a high-profile move from Rubin Kazan last summer. He has managed to be consistent in terms of goal-scoring and has put in numerous match-winning performances while acting as the focal point of Sergei Semak’s attack.

Azmoun has appeared in 29 matches for his current employers this term, banging in 14 goals and providing seven assists across multiple competitions which goes to show how much he has matured as a centre-forward at the Gazprom Arena.

The 25-year-old has collectively averaged 3.1 shots, 1.0 key passes and 0.7 dribbles in every 90 minutes of football in the Russian Premier League and the UEFA Champions League this season (stats via whoscored). His stats showcase just how prolific he has been for Zenit when leading the line for them down the middle.

Azmoun has made himself a favourite among fans in Iranian football after netting 31 goals in 46 senior appearances for the Iranian national team thus far. He is about to embark upon the prime years of his football career and could potentially go down in history as one of his country’s greatest ever players if he can continue to perform at a high level in the years to come.

Iran’s Sardar Azmoun celebrates after scoring their opening goal during the 2018 World Cup qualifying football match between Iran and South Korea at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on October 11, 2016. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

What Will The Iranian Striker Bring To The English Capital?

Azmoun is quite a mobile centre-forward who loves to make some penetrative runs with the ball in the final third. He also has a great leap in him that enables him to win his fair share of aerial duels inside the opposition penalty area. The Iranian frontman has also transformed himself into an unforgiving finisher in front of the opposition goal. However, the jury is still out on whether he has what it takes to deal with the high intensity of the Premier League if he ends up making a switch to England in the future.

Is Azmoun A Decent Choice For The Hammers?

A forward of Azmoun’s quality and potential will undoubtedly be a decent acquisition for David Moyes as he will bring a lot of goals and creativity to the London Stadium. He is good enough to provide some healthy competition for Sébastien Haller, Albian Ajeti and Michail Antonio. Azmoun has the skillset to give them a run for their money in the race to secure a regular starting berth at East London next season. The Iranian maestro will not only add another dimension to the Hammers attack but also enhance the overall depth of their squad.

Moyes will be able to establish an attractive brand of football if he can find a way to lure the talented forward to the English capital before the start of the new season. However, Zenit’s demands for the player could be a big stumbling block for them to overcome because of the growing competition from other clubs and the economic impact of the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

West Ham will struggle to splash big-money on a forward who is yet to test himself in the Premier League. Maybe, the wise option for Moyes would be to cash in on some of his fringe players so that he can fund a suitable offer for Azmoun this summer.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.