West Ham United To Rival Leicester City For This Centre-Forward: What Will He Add To Moyes’ Team?

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 have initiated talks to secure the signature of Zenit St. Petersburg forward Sardar Azmoun this summer. However, the same source has also claimed that the Hammers will have to battle it out with Leicester City for the right to land the Iranian centre-forward in this off-season. It is understood that the Russian giants will only entertain offers that are no less than €35m for their prized asset (via Area Napoli).

Azmoun’s Sensational Impact In The Russian Top-Flight

The 25-year-old has excelled at St. Petersburg since making a switch from Rubin Kazan last summer. He has been responsible for putting in a series of impressive displays while acting as the centre-piece of Sergei Semak’s attack. Azmoun has featured in 29 matches for the Russian outfit this term, netting 14 goals and providing seven assists in all competitions which highlight his growing influence at the Gazprom Arena.

The Iranian international has collectively averaged 3.1 shots, 1.0 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per game in the Russian Premier League and the UEFA Champions League this season (stats via whoscored). His numbers prove just how consistent he has been when given the responsibility of leading the charge for Zenit down the middle.

Azmoun has also made a name for himself at the international level after scoring 31 goals in 46 senior appearances for the Iranian national side thus far. He is peaking just at the right time and could go down in history as one of his nation’s greatest ever players if he can maintain his high standards 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 Add To Moyes’ Side?

Azmoun can use his quickness and agility to make some dangerous runs with the ball in behind the opposition backline. He also has a great leap in him that allows him to win a lot of headers inside the opposition penalty box. The Iranian centre-forward has also transformed himself into an accomplished finisher in the final third. However, there are some concerns over whether he will be able to cope with the high intensity of Premier League football if he decides to complete a switch to England in the future.

A striker of Azmoun’s skillset will undeniably be a shrewd signing for David Moyes as he will add a lot of quality to his frontline at the London Stadium. He is more than capable of giving Sébastien Haller, Albian Ajeti and Michail Antonio a run for their money for the right to lead the line for the Hammers week in week out. The Iranian maestro will not only bring a lot of goals and creativity to the English capital but also increase the overall depth of the West Ham squad.

Moyes will be able to adopt a more attack-oriented style of play if he can secure the signature of Azmoun during the summer transfer period. However, Zenit’s €35m+ price-tag for the player could be a significant stumbling block for the East London giants to overcome due to the economic impact that the recent COVID-19 pandemic will have on the transfer market.

West Ham cannot afford to pay such a high figure for a forward who is yet to prove his worth at the highest level. Maybe, Moyes can look to sell some of his fringe players to fund a move for Azmoun before the start of the new season.

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.