West Ham completed their pre-season schedule with a solid 1-0 win over French side Angers SCO on Friday, but the feeling remains within the club that further recruits are required ahead of the new season.
The signings of, amongst others, Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere have gone some way to shoring up what, at times, looked a questionable midfield department last term, but the departure of Cheikhou Kouyaté to Crystal Palace has surely left another spot to be filled.
A whole host of names will undoubtedly be linked with moves to the London Stadium before the transfer window slams shut on Thursday, but one of the stories appearing to have the most weight behind it currently regards Juventus’ Stefano Sturaro.
The 25-year-old Italian international has been a reported target for the Hammers all summer and, with time running out, it’s believed that the Turin giants are now willing to accept offers in the region of £18m as they seek to balance the books after spending lavishly to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the Allianz Stadium.
Having represented his nation and one of Europe’s biggest clubs within the last year, there can be no doubting that Sturaro has the pedigree, but is he the influential midfield man West Ham need?
|CLUB Juventus||AGE 25Y 4M|
|POS MID||HEIGHT 6FT 0IN|
Avg Goal for
Avg Goals against
Mins per goal for
Mins per goal against
Shots for per game
Points per game
Competition for places is tough at Juventus and, as a result, Sturaro appeared in just 12 of Juve’s 38 Serie A matches last season. Given limited playing time, however, it’s remarkable what a difference he was able to make.
He’s chiefly a defensive minded player, with the ability to play as an RB, CDM or even slightly further forward, meaning it’s statistics at his own end of the pitch that carry the most weight. With average goals conceded per game dropping from 0.8 to just 0.3 with the former Genoa man on the pitch and clean sheets in 75% of matches, it’s clear he’s very good at his job.
There can be no doubt that Juventus are the dominant force in Italian football currently and, as such, high win ratios are to be expected. The 83% achieved with Sturaro in the side, however, exemplifies just how at home his is playing at such a high level.
With just 101 league appearances to his name, there is clearly a huge amount more to come from this tireless midfield man. He now needs a stage upon which to fulfil his potential and, should a move materialise in the coming days, the London Stadium could be just perfect for him.
The Acca Smacker
For fans across the continent, the excitement is building. A new season is here and optimism is rife. Will new signings stun? Will titles be won? Everyone hopes, but nobody knows. Domestic football’s back, and we could be happier.
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