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West Ham United are looking to bolster their attacking options further, before the transfer window closes and are reportedly in talks with French club Lorient, to sign striker Abdul Majeed Waris, according to Sky Sports.
The 25-year old Ghanaian is already in London, to hash out a deal at the earliest possibly seen as the like-for-like replacement for Hammers’ striker Diafra Sakho who is headed to French outfit Rennes, having already undergone a medical.
With Waris most likely to become the Hammers’ next signing, here we take a closer look at the player and what he will be bringing to the table.
Born on 19 September 1991, in Tamale, Ghana, Waris started off his footballing journey with the Right to Dream Academy back in his homeland as a 12-year old. Following this, he moved to England, where he gained a place in the Nike Academy and featured for Forest Green Rovers’ reserve side.
In 2009, the striker joined Swedish outfit BK Hacken, signing a four-year deal with the club. Having made his debut for them in 2010, Waris went on to appear 63 times for Hacken, in which he managed to score 30 goals, before leaving for Russian side Spartak Moscow in 2012 – the year in which he was named as the Swedish top-flight’s Player of the Year.
His stay at Spartak wasn’t as fruitful though, as he managed just a single strike in 16 outings, before joining French side Valenciennes on loan in January 2014. Waris regained his form with his temporary club, bagging 9 goals in 16 games and was signed up by Turkish outfit Trabzonspor in September 2014. The Ghanaian forward netted 4 times for the club in 29 games, before joining Lorient in the subsequent summer. In his two seasons with the French club, Waris has managed 23 goals in 65 games – 11 of them coming in the 2016/17 campaign from 40 games.
The 25-year old has represented the Ghanaian national team on 25 occasions, bagging 4 goals so far.
A versatile forward, Waris is adept at playing anywhere in the frontline, but is most comfortable playing as a centre-forward. He has also been used as an auxiliary striker playing off another forward, on a number of occasions.
A quality finisher of the ball, the 25-year old Lorient man is good with the ball at his feet, is agile and is extremely quick. His low centre of gravity enables him to get past defenders in tight spaces while it also means that he tends to draw many fouls in dangerous areas. However, it his speed that is his biggest asset. Pace, combined with extremely good close control and finishing abilities to top it, make him a potent weapon in the attacking third.
Waris isn’t the tallest of the strikers and isn’t renowned for his physical abilities either, which does put him at a disadvantage when he attempts at holding up play at the top. Defensive contribution is another area which is found lacking.
West Ham are off to a struggling start to the new season and need to do something soon to address the problems. While they may have brought in Javier Hernandez to ensure goals for, the Mexican international cannot be expected to be do it all by himself.
With Sakho set to leave, signing Waris makes a lot of sense for West Ham. The 25-year old is at the right age and has shown that he can be a consistent source of goals as well, with the right supply line behind him in the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic.