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Forget Lingard, here’s 5 other top-quality free agents West Ham can sign

So it’s Nottingham Forest, then. After a long old pursuit played out largely in the public eye, Jesse Lingard appears to have decided that, no, he…

The post Forget Lingard, here’s 5 other top-quality free agents West Ham can sign appeared first on HITC.

Photo by JOHN WALTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

So it’s Nottingham Forest, then. After a long old pursuit played out largely in the public eye, Jesse Lingard appears to have decided that, no, he won’t be returning to West Ham United after all.

According to The Times, he’s on the verge of signing a £200,000-a-week deal at the City Ground – a quite staggering contract offer West Ham have no plans to match. 

But Lingard is not the only talented free-agent looking for a new home…

Andrea Belotti 

It is three weeks now since Belotti’s Torino contract expired. But, for whatever reason, offers are not exactly flying in for a centre-forward who, just a couple of years ago, looked a candidate to become one of football’s very first 100 million men. 

“There’s a 100 million euro release clause,” Granata president Urbano Cairo said back in 2017. 

“If someone offers 100 million euros, then I would have to let him go. If a foreign team comes in and offers that number, I’ll have to sell him.” 

No one did, of course. Belotti spent another five years at Torino. He scored 100 Serie A goals, while establishing himself as one of his generation’s most underrated goalscorers.

A powerful and aggressive number nine, a West Ham side could certainly do a lot worse. 

Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

Florian Grillitsch 

For what feels like the umpteenth time this summer alone, Austria international Grillitsch looks set to watch a transfer slip through his fingers. Fiorentina called off a deal a couple of weeks ago. Now, according to Sabah, Turkish giants Galatasaray slammed down the shutters, having been put off by his wage demands. 

It is no secret that West Ham want a ball-carrying, box-to-box midfielder to ease the pressure on Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek. So enter Grillitsch; A man who boasts Soucek sky-scraping height but also the kind of elegance and guile that has attracted interest from some of Europe’s big hitters in the past. It’s not often a midfielder quite this gifted is available for nothing. 

“Flo Grillitsch is one of the best players in the Bundesliga,” ex-Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsman said (Sky). 

“He still has a few things to improve, he knows that. But he is an exceptional footballer and has an incredible gift for setting the tempo of the game.” 

Isco 

In an era where string-pulling, defence-splitting number tens feel somewhat out of fashion – a tape deck in a Tesla, if you will – the diminishing of Isco’s once-glittering reputation feels symbolic. But if Moyes is willing to take the rough with the smooth and tweak his system, Isco is the sort of world-class creator who would give this Hammers side a completely different dimension in the final third. 

No team in the Premier League scored more goals from counter-attacks (six) than West Ham during 2021/22 (WhoScored). Isco, however, would give Moyes the tools to pick the toughest of locks too. 

Adnan Januzaj 

Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Moyes has seen the good and the bad of Adnan Januzaj. The Belgian international was one of the few bright sparks of the Scot’s ill-fated Manchester United tenure. Though it’s fair to say he failed to hit those sky-high heights when the pair were reunited at Sunderland a couple of years later. 

But while Januzaj has almost become a posterboy for unfulfilled potential in the eyes of the English media, a cathartic stint at Real Sociedad is proof that the winger – still just 27 years of age – can still produce match-changing moments of rabbit-out-the-hat magic. 

According to the Daily Star, West Ham are considering handing Januzaj a third stab at the Premier League. He’d replace Andriy Yarmolenko while keeping Jarrod Bowen on his toes.

Riechedly Bazoer 

While all the aforementioned quartet have been linked with a move to the London Stadium at some point or another over the last 12 months, the same cannot be said of Bazoer. The Dutchman’s versatility and supreme technique could come in very handy at the Hammers, however. Especially considering that Moyes wants reinforcements both at centre-half and in defensive midfield. 

Bazoer, who saw a £10 million move to Marseille fall through this month, would also give the West Ham boss the flexibility to shift from a four to a three-man backline if required. 

The former Porto and Wolfsburg man has rebuilt his reputation during a couple of excellent seasons at Vitesse Arnhem.

Photo by Pim Waslander/Soccrates/Getty Images
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