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Gianluca Scamacca signing would prove how far West Ham have come under David Moyes

There were protests outside the London Stadium the summer David Moyes returned to West Ham. Fans weren’t solely disgruntled with the appointment of the Scot, but they saw his return to the Hammers for a second managerial spell as proof of the club’s lack of ambition at boardroom level. A lot has changed since then, though.

 

Moyes has enjoyed a career renaissance that few would have predicted a few years ago. His West Ham team have qualified for continental competition in each of the last two seasons and even challenged for a top four finish in 2020/21. The Hammers are expected to be in top six contention once again this season.

 

The signing of Gianluca Scamacca could push them even higher with the Italian striker expected to complete a £35.5m transfer to West Ham this week. The 23-year-old had no shortage of suitors this summer with Juventus, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested at one time or another, but the Hammers have seemingly got their man.

 

This is the sort of ambitious signing West Ham fans have wanted their club to make for years. Scamacca has the physical profile to succeed in the Premier League and as a centre forward under the stewardship of Moyes. He is still only 23 and is fresh from a Serie A season which saw him score 16 times in 36 appearances for Sassuolo. The Italian international has time to improve further.

 

Scamacca is capable of holding the ball up and bringing others into the game and this is likely one of the things that attracted Moyes to him. Michail Antonio is excellent at acting as an attacking apex, but the Jamaican international can no longer play every minute of every game, particularly with the Hammers in European competition.

 

Comparisons have been drawn with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and there are certainly similarities in the profiles of the two centre forwards. Scamacca is very effective as a target man, but is also willing to run the channels to disrupt opposition defenders and pull them out of position. His new West Ham teammates, such as Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals, will benefit from this movement.

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Of course, every new signing comes with a risk factor attached and that is the case with Scamacca despite his obvious talent and potential. Sebastien Haller was unable to find his best form at West Ham and has since gone on to prove himself as one of the best penalty box operators in Europe, finishing as last season’s Champions League top scorer.

 

But Scamacca looks to be as good a fit for Moyes’ West Ham team as any other striker on the market. The Hammers needed to be bold in the transfer market to take the next step in their development and that’s what they have done by landing one of the most sought-after forwards in the European game right now.

 

According to reports, West Ham are intent on making more signings to strengthen their squad this summer with Burnley winger Dwight McNeil believed to be on their radar. This comes after the London Stadium outfit spent £30m on Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd from Rennes. The Hammers are adding strategically in a number of areas.

 

Competition at the top end of the Premier League table will be stiffer this season. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are on an upward trajectory while Manchester United will surely be stronger under new manager Erik ten Hag than they were last term. With this in mind, West Ham may have missed their chance to pull themselves up into the top four. Nonetheless, the signing of Scamacca suggests the Hammers might also improve this season.

 

 

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