[Image] Here’s how West Ham could line up after the arrival of this talented £33.4m attacker

According to reports, West Ham are close to completing a £33.4million deal to sign Felipe Anderson from Lazio.

The Brazilian attacker appeared 32 times across competitions for the Italian outfit this past season, scoring eight goals. In fact, his exploits helped Lazio get closer to achieving their objectives, and a player like him could work wonders at West Ham.

The Hammers have appointed Manuel Pellegrini as the new head coach and he is expected to propel the team to perform well after two seasons of utter mediocrity. And the Chilean’s impact is already becoming apparent with Anderson being the latest to be linked with the Hammers.

While West Ham must prioritize defensive reinforcements, Anderson could be a great buy for the club.

Felipe Anderson

The Brazilian is blisteringly quick, creative and is quite versatile as well. He can play on either flank, as well as down the middle.

Considering Pellegrini is likely to opt for his customary 4-2-3-1 formation, Anderson could slot in behind the likes of either Andy Carroll or Javier Hernandez. However, Carroll has not been consistent with his goal-scoring abilities while Hernandez is yet to get a solid chance to prove himself.

Meanwhile, Marko Arnautovic was a revelation this past season. Under Moyes’ guidance, he often played as the central striker but the Austrian could be forced out wide by Pellegrini to make room for the jet-heeled and industrious Anderson in the 4-2-3-1 setup.

Manuel Lanzini — one of West Ham’s most creative players — could take his preferred role on the left.

Marko Arnautovic

Apart from strengthening the defence, Pellegrini must assess his central midfield options as well. West Ham captain Mark Noble is on the wrong side of 30 while Cheikhou Kouyate has endured an inconsistent campaign in the middle of the park. Hence, reinforcing the midfield should be prioritised ahead of the next term.

Nevertheless, it is positive to see West Ham being linked with an attacking player of Anderson’s calibre. After all, he is one of the most sought-after attacking players across Europe and with that, one can sense that the Hammers are in for some big changes.

But if West Ham are to make significant progress under Pellegrini next season, strengthening the defence should be prioritised over anything else in the summer transfer window.

Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.

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