Why signing this Crystal Palace target would solve a lot of West Ham’s woes in the final third


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West Ham should beat Crystal Palace to sign Gabriel Barbosa in January

According to Football London, West Ham are prepared to go head to head with Everton and Crystal Palace to sign Inter Milan’s Brazilian forward Gabriel Barbosa.

Manuel Pellegrini is looking to bolster his attack in the January transfer window to cover for the injury to Andriy Yarmolenko which is supposed to rule him out for the remainder of the season.

Pellegrini had the backing of the board’s financial resources after taking charge in summer and splashed the cash to land some big names like Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Issa Diop.

Despite signing such heavyweights in the summer, West Ham haven’t been able to live up to the expectations this season. It would be harsh to say that they have been outrightly poor but the Hammers have lacked the consistency to challenge the other mid-table teams like Watford and Bournemouth.

In other words, West Ham are capable of achieving much more with the quality of players that they have got in their squad.

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Just when things were beginning to fall into place for Pellegrini after a horrible start to the season, West Ham’s campaign has been marred by injuries to several of their key players.

And the injury to Yarmolenko dealt a huge blow to the team’s attacking resources as the Hammers did not have a player to replace someone of the Ukrainian’s calibre. Grady Diangana has shown a lot of promise in recent weeks and Roberto Snodgrass is more than capable of operating down the flanks but neither of them has scored a goal so far.

Quite clearly, West Ham need to sign a replacement to cover for the long-term injury to Yarmolenko and Inter Milan outcast Gabriel Barbosa would be a decent choice.

After showing some exceptional goalscoring ability during his time at Santos, Barbosa was signed by Italian giants Inter Milan in 2016. However, things did not quite work out for the 22-year-old at the San Siro and he was loaned out to Benfica in the following season. Following a dry spell in the Portuguese top flight, the Brazilian was sent back on a season-long loan deal to his former club Santos where he rediscovered his goalscoring form.

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And his red-hot form for Santos has attracted the attention of the London clubs. Barbosa, who has been capped by Brazil on four occasions, enjoyed a fantastic season at Santos, scoring 17 goals and providing a couple of assists.

The technically-gifted and tactically versatile Brazilian is an out-and-out centre-forward by trade but is also capable of operating as a wide forward down the right flank. He likes to take on the defenders with his mesmerizing dribbling skills and uses his vision to set his teammates into free spaces with incisive passes in the final third.

However, the most impressive things about him are his calmness, composure and clinical nature in front of goal which makes him a potent threat in the attacking third.

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Suffice to say, Barbosa is a player with a huge potential and West Ham should not hesitate to sign him to add that cutting edge to their attack. Not only will he be a good option to have down the right but he can also fill in the boots of Marko Arnatuovic whenever the Austrian needs a break.

That said, the Hammers should beat Everton and Crystal Palace to sign the Brazilian in January as he has all the attributes to propel them to a top ten finish this season.

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