West Ham United eager on signing 25-year-old Brazilian striker– a good mid-season addition to the frontline?

Gabriel Barbosa has impressed with Flamengo recently.
Gabriel Barbosa has impressed with Flamengo recently. (Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)

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Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa is on the radar of West Ham United amidst a potential January move

According to Sky Sports, West Ham United are lining up a move for Flamengo ace Gabriel Barbosa in January. The striker has been brilliant for the Brasileiro side in the past two seasons and has attracted interest from several clubs.

A product of the FC Santos academy, the youngster joined the senior setup of the Brazilian club at the tender age of 17. The teenager impressed in the first-team for three consecutive years before Inter Milan snapped him up. However, he was never able to cut it in the Serie A making only nine appearances in four seasons. During this time, he sealed loan deals to Benfica, Santos, and Flamengo, before joining the latter permanently last year. If you look at any website, you will soon see that the odds speak for themselves in favour of Barbosa.

Could now be the right time for the striker to jump ship to England? And would West Ham United benefit from this move?

Gabriel Barbosa could seal a Top 4 spot for West Ham United

Since joining Flamengo in 2020, Gabriel has made 124 appearances for the club. In this period, he has also scored 84 goals and provided 26 assists. These went a long way in securing the league title for them last season. Although they could not repeat the feat this season, the centre forward has been one of their crucial players.

West Ham United are in talks to sign Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa in January.
West Ham United are in talks to sign Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa in January. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

West Ham are now looking to orchestrate a move for him. The Hammers have been making good progress under David Moyes in the last two seasons. They were in the Top 4 for quite a while last term before their form fell off a cliff in the last two months. However, they have maintained playing at a top-level this season and are currently only a point off the Top 4.

However, inconsistency has often been their failure. They need substantial depth in every area for them to mount a proper challenge to qualify for the Champions League. Additionally, they will need quality players once they enter Europe’s premier competition as well. For far too long, Michail Antonio has been carrying the burden of the lone striker.

Jarrod Bowen has been incredible for the club but has not found success playing upfront. Pablo Fornals, Manuel Lanzini, Said Benrahma, and Andriy Yarmolenko also excel playing around a No 9 rather than playing as one. Sebastian Haller was signed to solve this problem last summer but the tall centre-forward could not adjust to the league.

Additionally, Antonio has only 18 months left on his deal and will turn 32 this year. Thus, it is a good time to sign a player like Gabriel. He may have found it hard to cut in the Serie A, but he is much more experienced now. He looks confident of his abilities and is also thought to be viewing West Ham’s games and likes their style of play. The Brazilian international can provide the depth for the East London club to compete on all multiple fronts and also help avoid not losing ground on the Top 4 race in the final months of the campaign. 

West Ham are not the only ones in the race to sign Gabriel Barbosa

The Flamengo star may be watching games of the Hammers, but he has several other suitors in the Premier League. Although their identity is unknown as of now, three other top-flight clubs are weighing up a deal for the Brazilian striker, who is hoping to lead the line for the national team at the World Cup towards the end of this year. 

Three other Premier League clubs are interested in signing Gabriel Barbosa.
Three other Premier League clubs are interested in signing Gabriel Barbosa. (Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)

Unless the other three clubs are a part of the traditional top six in England, West Ham might like their chances of landing the player. Man City, Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Liverpool have the prestige of offering the best things to their players. However, the Hammers are not far off. 

They have an incredible stadium, a great bunch of fans, and a lot of history. Moreover, they are eyeing long-term goals rather than short-term profits. A great example of this would be how they retained Declan Rice in the summer and their continued approach to keeping a star like him at the club despite interest from the top clubs in the league.

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Gabriel or ‘Gabigol’ could add to this project. He is a striker who is ready to join the Premier League, and at 25, he is on the brink of his professional peak. He can add to the depth in the squad but also hopefully step up as a member of the starting XI, if and when he has to. Thus, while West Ham may not be the only club interested in signing him, they have more than enough reason to pursue a deal for him and convince him to come to the London Stadium this month.