David Moyes and West Ham looked at several possible attacking signings in the January transfer window, but none of them came off. They wanted to sign Jota from Al-Ittihad but encountered tax issues, while Nordsjaelland’s Ibrahim Osman was deemed too expensive and Arsenal turned back a loan offer for Emile Smith-Rowe.
Deals for Aston Villa’s Jhon Duran, Ajax’s Steven Bergwijn and Sunderland’s Jack Clarke were all explored too, but to no avail. Moyes said the club “looked really, really hard” to find a suitable option, but those efforts will now have to be placed on hold until the summer.
One target the Hammers are reportedly determined to revisit is Genoa’s Albert Gudmundsson. The Serie A club refused to sell him midway through the season, but work is already under way on a move when the campaign has concluded.
West Ham double down on Gudmundsson
Now, according to Italian outlet Tutto Juve, West Ham have “stepped up” their interest in Gudmundsson as they try to bring him to the Premier League. They’re one of a number of teams to ask “for information”, alongside domestic giants Fiorentina and Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen.
The player had the chance to leave when Genoa were relegated to the second division in 2021/22 but wanted to stay and lead them back up, which he managed to do. Similarly, he felt a mid-season departure inappropriate this year and hopes to help his side finish in the top half before assessing his future in June.
“Devastating” Gudmundsson is worth waiting for
Gudmundsson has played 73 games for Genoa overall and is one of the team’s most important figures, as his 100% starting rate when available this season demonstrates. Team-mate Kevin Strootman has called him an “exemplary professional” and a “devastating player”, and his numbers offer us some insight into why.
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In addition to a couple of goals in the cup, Gudmundsson has scored nine times in the league this season, which ranks him sixth in the overall competition leaderboard. He’s over-performed his xG by a whopping 4.8, and while that statistically makes him the seventh-most clinical finisher in Europe’s big-five leagues, it also suggests his current levels of finishing may not be sustainable.
On the flip side, though, his assist numbers will improve if he lines up alongside higher-quality team-mates. The Icelandic international has created more chances (55) than any other player in Serie A in 2023/24, and sits third for expected assists (4.2), but his team-mates have only converted two of the opportunities he’s fashioned.
Serie A player
Primarily a second striker, he would surely relish the chance of linking up with the likes of Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen to make West Ham’s new-look even more exciting, and finally allow Moyes to move on to other transfer priorities.