West Ham are lining up Norwich City star Emiliano Buendia as a possible Jesse Lingard alternative this summer, according to the Mirror.
The newspaper’s print edition (p72, via PressReader) claims the Irons have put Buendia on the list of targets they will pursue if a permanent deal for loan star Lingard cannot be completed.
The 28-year-old has been in stunning form since moving to East London in January, scoring nine goals in 11 appearances, but West Ham could be priced out of a move.
Buendia could be a cheaper option and he would arrive on the back of his own sensational season.
The Argentinian playmaker has scored 14 goals and registered 16 assists in 38 Championship appearances to fire Norwich to the Championship title and an instant Premier League return after relegation last season.
Such form has earned him the prestigious honour of ‘EFL Championship Player of the Season’, battling off 30-goal striker Ivan Toney for the top prize. [BBC Sport]
The Athletic’s Michael Bailey called him “Sensational” in December on his personal Twitter profile after another virtuoso display for the Canaries.
West Ham should be all over Buendia’s signature if Lingard cannot be brought back this summer.
Of course Lingard should be the club’s primary objective and we should be doing all we can to sign him permanently but if he proves too expensive there’s not many better alternatives around than Buendia.
The 24-year-old has absolutely obliterated the Championship this season.
39 goal contributions is impressive enough, but he absolutely blows his rivals out of the water across a number of key creator statistics.
According to Wyscout Buendia makes 3.02 smart passes per 90 – his closest challenger Nick Powell is way down with 1.88.
He also makes 3.05 through passes per 90, another league-leading statistic, while only teammate Max Aaron (36) has made more key passes than Buendia’s 35.
The Norwich star may have failed to fire last time around in the Premier League, scoring just once in 36 appearances, but we think he’ll prove his worth next season, and that could well be at the London Stadium depending on our pursuit of Lingard.
In other West Ham news, ‘Wonderful’ – Pundit View: Irons to beat Aston Villa to ‘Major signing.