Why West Ham should move for Flamengo star Bruno Henriques

According to claims from football website 90min, as cited by the Daily Express, West Ham are weighing up a move for Brazilian international winger Bruno Henriques, who currently plies his trade with Flamengo in his homeland. 

The Hammers scouted the 28-year-old winger during Flamengo’s 1-0 loss against Liverpool in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday and they believe the Brazilian can make an immediate impact to steer the club away from the drop zone in the second half of the campaign. (90min h/t Express)

Henriques, who has bagged a staggering 26 goals and 9 assists in 42 appearances for Flamengo in all competitions this term, played a key role in the club’s Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A triumphs before falling agonizingly short in guiding his team to yet another piece of silverware. 

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Bruno Henriques won the Silver Ball Award at the FIFA Club World Cup as Flamengo finished runners-up to Liverpool (Getty Images)

Nevertheless, the Belo Horizonte-born star did enough to claim the Silver Ball Award at the FIFA Club World Cup, finishing as the second-best player in the competition behind Liverpool’s Mo Salah, who was the recipient of the Golden Ball Award. 

Henriques, who shot to prominence with Cruzeiro and Goias in his homeland earlier in his career,  earned a move to the German Bundesliga with Wolfsburg but he returned to Brazil with Santos in 2017 after struggling for regular opportunities in Europe.

The 28-year-old has since resurrected his career in his homeland and even earned himself a couple of senior international caps for Brazil earlier this year due to his rich vein of form at Flamengo. 

A right-footed winger capable of playing out wide on either flank and also up top as a second striker, Henriques has racked up some very impressive statistics, besides his staggering tally of goals and assists. 

As per whoscored, the 28-year-old has managed a pass success rate of 75.5%, including 2.9 aerial duels, 3 shots, 1.2 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per game in the Brazilian top-flight this term, figures which throw light on his well-rounded attributes as a versatile wide player cum goalscorer. 

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Bruno Henrique played a key role in Flamengo’s Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A triumph this season (Getty Images)

A closer look at those numbers reveals that Henriques has a dribble success rate of 52.35 (45 out of 86), an aerial duel success rate of almost 50 (96 out of 194), which is extremely impressive for a winger, and a shooting accuracy percentage of almost 48 (47 out of 98 attempts on target). 

As a matter of fact, 20 out of Henriques’ 21 goals in the Brazilian league this season have come from inside the penalty area, which clearly reveals that the 28-year-old has a devastating eye for goal from close range to complement his dribbling, acceleration and creativity. 

To put things into perspective, West Ham are crying out for some inspiration in the final third and Bruno Henriques certainly fits the bill as an immediate game-changer in East London. 

The Brazilian failed to live up to the expectations during his previous stint in Europe at Wolfsburg but he now looks better equipped to make his mark in a more competitive league. 

A dismal first half of the campaign has seen the East Londoners struggle and under-fire boss Manuel Pellegrini must improve on those returns to steer the club to a respectable finish at the end of the season.

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West Ham have scouted Henriques with a view to a potential move in January (Getty Images)

Pellegrini has been let down by his summer recruits, with Pablo Fornals yet to find the net and Sebastien Haller contributing with only 5 so far. Moreover, with the likes of Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini have also failing to chip in with a single goal, it is easy to see why the Hammers have struggled to rack up enough points. 

Michail Antonio’s return has proven to be a massive boost for Pellegrini’s side while Robert Snodgrass and Andriy Yarmolenko have also chipped in with a few decent performances. 

Verdict

However, lack of consistency has been a major stumbling block and the arrival of a new attacking recruit like Bruno Henriques could go a long way towards adding some much-needed cutting-edge to West Ham’s attack, whilst also improving Pellegrini’s overall squad dynamics and increasing competition for places. 

The Brazilian has illustrated his pedigree as a goalscoring wide player in his homeland and West Ham could have a saviour on their hands if the 28-year-old manages to contribute even half of the eye-watering tally that he amassed at Flamengo in the second half of the season.

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Having said that, Bruno Henriques is certainly a gamble worth taking for the Hammers in January.

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