We’re only a few months away until the season ends and the transfer rumours will soon be gathering pace.
But should West Ham secure the services of this youngster before the window opens to prevent gazumping by another club? The striker I’m talking about is Bayern Leverkusen’s Joel Pohjanpalo.
On Saturday 10th September 2016, I was in Germany on my stag do and we decided to see Leverkusen v Hamburg. Leverkusen had an uninspiring Javier Hernandez up front, Karim Bellarabi went off through injury and the home side went down 1-0 to a Bobby Wood goal, thanks to some comical defending.
In the 72nd minute, Joel Pohjanpalo replaced Admir Mehmedi to not only change the game but inflict damage in the best possible way – he scored a hat-trick and one of those goals was a screamer.
The Finland international can play as a lone striker on the wing or just off the main striker. He is naturally a right footed player, but is comfortable on his left.
Pohjanpalo has a fantastic eye for goal when given the opportunity and his movement off the ball is something West Ham currently lack in the final third. At 5 foot 11 inches, he has a very good aerial ability when attacking or collecting a long ball from deep. Although his tackling is not so great, it’s worth noting that when he has possession, he has a similar dribbling ability as Lanzini.
At just 22 years of age, he already has 22 caps and four goals for Finland, but has made just 4 appearances for Bayer this season. The lad has shown huge potential and when given time he could be the answer to West Ham’s problems.
Pohjanpalo would arguably be valued at around £12-15m and in this current market and if the Hammers bought him, it would be a steal for a what could be the Finnish version of Harry Kane.