West Ham ready to go ahead with January deal for 21-year-old Ligue 1 striker– a good find by Moyes?

West Ham United set to advance negotiations for a January move for LOSC Lille star Jonathan David

According to journalist Ekrem Konur (h/t ESPN), West Ham United are lining up a move for LOSC Lille ace Jonathan David in January. The young striker recently found the back of the net in the 3-1 victory against Auxerre in the French Cup.

The 21-year-old entered European football three years ago, when he left the Ottawa Internationals Soccer club to sign for KAA Gent. The Belgian club has a rich history of developing world-class talents and they continued to do so with David. The Canadian international sealed a move to Lille last summer and guided them to the league title.

Could he leave the French club so soon? And should West Ham United pursue a deal for him?

Jonathan David is an investment for the future

Since signing last year, the North American ace has scored 28 goals and provided a further 5 assists in just 74 appearances. Last season, he bagged 13 goals and set up 3 more, thereby being responsible for 25% of the club’s total goals (64) in their title-winning campaign. He has continued his fine goal-scoring form this season but is primed for a move.

West Ham United are interested in signing Jonathan David in January. (Getty Images)
West Ham United are interested in signing Jonathan David in January. (Getty Images)

West Ham United are keeping tabs on the Canadian, and understandably so. Young strikers are hard to find and even harder to sign in this window. Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland command massive transfer fees but below them, there is another pool of talent that is bursting to explode. David is surely one of them.

David Moyes could also make good use of the striker, given the current state of his squad. Michail Antonio is already 31, and his contract shall be up in 2023. Andriy Yarmolenko could also leave as a free agent in the coming summer. The pair are the only out-and-out strike options at the club after the move for Sebastian Haller did not quite work out. Interestingly enough, Antonio played on the flanks before his role as a number 9 and Yarmolenko is also widely known for his abilities as a winger.

Jarrod Bowen is a viable option but excels playing behind and beside the striker rather than being the lone option upfront. The Lille striker is only 21 and could play as a deputy to Antonio in East London. His goal-scoring abilities are well-documented and while he might not hit the ground running, signing David is an investment for the future rather than a short-term fix.

There are few good young options in the market, at least ones that are reasonably affordable. The Hammers are making good progress on their brilliant 2020/21 campaign, and smart investments will only help their cause of fighting against the big boys in the coming years.

The financial viability

The striker signed a five-year contract when he arrived from KAA Gent last year. Thus, the 21-year-old still has three and a half years left on his deal, courtesy of which it is unlikely to be a straightforward move for the North American star. Moreover, Lille are only 10 points off the relegation zone and offloading David to make a quick buck could derail the Ligue 1 side’s season.

Jonathan David has a contract at Lille until 2025. (imago Images)
Jonathan David has a contract at Lille until 2025. (imago Images)

West Ham shall, thus, have to negotiate a favourable deal for the Canadian. Moreover, the East London club must seal a move in January as the player’s stock is rising, and several more clubs could join the race by the end of the season. After all, everybody likes a youngster that has the tendency to score goals on a regular basis.

David Moyes currently has a squad boasting of some youngsters and several experienced professionals. Thus, they need to add to the former quota because they need to build for the future. Additionally, the only way to compete in Europe and the Premier League is through quality depth. 

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They have every chance of succeeding in the Europa League and gaining a Top 4 spot in the league, but they shall need their attackers firing on all fronts to do so. David shall only help this process, and it would not be a surprise if he is leading the line in a couple of years, with the Hammers looking to topple the traditional Top 6.