It has emerged this week that Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk winger Yevhen Konoplyanka has been offered a contract by Inter Milan.
The 25-year-old Ukraine international is out of contract next summer, which means he can enter pre-contract negotiations in January.
We had a £9.5million bid for the player rejected in the summer, which I’m sure Dnipro wished they’d accepted now they know he’s off for nothing at the end of the year.
But Inter’s four year, £45k-per-week contract offer shouldn’t discourage us from going back in for him.
According to Konoplyanka’s Wikipedia page, he is “a versatile team player, with good vision, passing, pace, dribbling, and creativity.”
The style in which Sam Allardyce has us playing at the moment, you’d expect someone with those attributes to fit perfectly into our attacking line.
Particularly when you consider – as reported on his Wikipedia profile – that, “tactically, he plays a free attacking and occasionally a playmaking role. He is comfortable attacking on either wing or through the centre of the pitch. He began in a deeper role but he has found his best form as left winger in a flexible 4-3-3.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but surely this guy would be the ideal player to slot in alongside the likes of Stewart Downing, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho up top? Yeah, he’d create and even bigger selection dilemma than we already have, but a player of his calibre would offer a huge boost to our new style of play.
“He plays a free attacking and occasionally a playmaking role. He is comfortable attacking on either wing or through the centre.”
And, as we edge ever closer to a new era in the Olympic Stadium, signing a player of Konoplyanka’s ilk would stand us in good stead to push on and perhaps compete on the European stage.
He has experience in the Europa League and has 40 caps for Ukraine, so he’s got all the experience needed if we were to reach those heights.
He can score goals as well. He’s netted over 30 in almost 150 league appearances for Dnipro, which is a similar record to Kevin Nolan. On that note, perhaps he’d be the ideal replacement for Nolan? He’s capable of playing that role and would no doubt offer more in terms of attacking quality than the skipper?
Either way, any chance of getting him would depend on whether we offer a better and far more attractive offer than Inter and if Tottenham – who are also reportedly interested – decide not to pursue said interest further.
But, with Inter a far cry from the dominance they once boasted in Italy, you’d expect an ambitious club with a bright future like West Ham a far better option. Just for the record, Inter are currently 11th in Serie A and haven’t won in four games.
Whether we go in for him or not is anyone’s guess. But I think we’d be mad not to.