Failed summer West Ham target scores and damages Arsenal in the process

Napoli

Duvan Zapata scored a sublime curling effort in Marseille to ear three points for Napoli in a 2-1 victory.

This summer West Ham United looked to be on the brink of snapping up Colombian under-20 international Duvan Zapata, from Argentine outfit Estudiantes.

The powerful striker had just come off the back of a sterling debut season, as a fully-fledged member of the Argentine club side - and been banging in the goals as well.

With that in mind plenty of teams began to sniff around - but The Hammers seemed to have jumped to the front of the queue and had a bid, believed to be around £3.3 million, accepted by the club for his signature.

But despite this agreement, and an apparent will on Zapata’s part to make the switch to London, the deal collapsed.

Zapata did not meet the criteria to obtain a Work Permit - therefore he was left without the chance if playing in the UK.

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West Ham appealed that he was an outstanding talent, but to no avail - the plug on this deal was pulled permanently.

Whether it was work permit issues that complicated the deal or not is actually still up for debate. The fact QPR entered the fray after the West Ham interest proved fruitless suggested otherwise or naivety.

But obtaining a Work Permit to play in Italy is a much easier process than here in the UK.

With that in mind, Rafa Benitez decided to bring him to Napoli as the understudy to Gonzalo Higuain.

The Argentine striker has however struggled with niggling injuries since arriving in Campania, which has meant more playing time for the young Colombian than was first thought possible.

And yesterday he scored his first goal for the club, a goal that could prove important.

Zapata picked up the ball just outside the area, and hit a bending shot into the top left hand corner of Steve Mandanda’s goal. It really was a sublime effort, which proved to be the winner in a 2-1 triumph in Southern France.

It is also a goal that does not help Arsenal’s cause. Napoli are now level with Borussia Dortmund and The Gunners on six points in the ‘Group of Death’ - with the Europa League beckoning for one of these three outfits.

And if this former West Ham target can keep scoring goals like this, Arsenal may have something to worry about…

image: © luigig

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