West Ham have sent scouts to watch Bologna forward Simone Verdi, according to Tutto Mercato Web.
The report claims the club are preparing to make a move for the 24-year-old, who is valued at just £2.55m by Transfermarkt.com.
It is no surprise to see the club already taking a look at potential strike targets ahead of the summer transfer window. The failings of last summer, that saw the club fail to bring in a marquee striker before an eventual loan move for Simone Zaza failed to work out for either party.
Italy remains a potential market for a reinforcements up front, though, and Verde is reportedly being looked at with huge interest.
The forward, who can also play out wide, joined Bologna from AC Milan for £1.3m last summer and recently impressed Hammers scouts during his team’s 4-1 victory over Chievo Verona at the weekend, scoring one and assisting another in the process.
On the face of it, a potential move for Verde would not appeal to most Hammers fans. The club’s promise of serious investment in the transfer market and the arrival of a ‘marquee’ striker means a move for a relatively unknown Italian forward would once again fail to get pulses running amongst the London Stadium faithful.
Verde has made 22 appearances in all competitions for Bologna this season, providing five goals and three assists in the process.
But while his goal return does not initially impress, it’s worth noting that he has only played as an out and out striker on four occasions this season.
Those four outings have returned two goals and one assist, which suggest he is far more effective in that role in stead of a right inside forward, which is where he has featured for the majority of this season.
However, WhoScored.com name ‘Finishing’ as one of Verde’s weaknesses this season, which will have alarm bells ringing for most fans…
He does possess good crossing and dribbling abilities, though, which are attributes we’ve perhaps lacked from a handful of first team players this season. The video also suggests he’s someone who loves scoring from range, which should only be seen as an added bonus, rather than a player who likes camping in the opponent’s half.
A move for Verde should arguably be with him being a back up striker at best, if you’re to take his current stats and abilities in to account.
Of course, it is entirely possible that he could arrive in the Premier League and start banging the goals in for fun, but we haven’t a striker capable of doing that on a consistent basis since Teddy Sheringham 12 years ago.
Let’s hope Verde is only being watched as potential back up to the marquee striker we’re all hoping finally arrives at the club this summer.