From various reports in both the French and English media, it looks like West Ham United have pulled out of any deal to bring AC Milan youngster, M’Baye Niang, on loan for next season. The 19-year-old spent the second half of the season on loan at French side Montpellier, but after only scoring four league goals in 17 starts, he didn’t do enough to convince owner Louis Nicollin that he was worth signing permanently.
AC Milan bought Niang from French side SM Caen in 2012 for £2.5 million, and although he is still very young, he never quite showed the great potential that he did as a 16-year-old in France.
There have been problems with his behaviour and discipline, including two serious offences involving illegally driving a car in Italy, and a crash in Montpellier. The latest incident saw him appear in court with charges of dangerous driving. He was lucky to escape unharmed and with only a fine and community service.
Niang was also one of the French under-21 players that was suspended after missing a curfew following a 2-1 win over Norway in Le Havre, the player travelled in a group – including Antoine Griezmann – to a Paris nightclub, a mere 300 miles away from their training camp.
It is obvious that Niang has had a history of worrying behaviour, and perhaps this is why West Ham have decided against making a move for the forward. He is under contract with Milan until 2017, but the Italian club are willing to let him go if they receive an offer of around €5 million.
On the pitch he obviously has talent; he is powerful and quick and has great skill on the ball. All the elements are there to turn him into a very dangerous player, and at 19 there is still time for him to grow-up and develop.
West Ham needs a striker that is ready to score goals, they don’t need to babysit a Milan forward and then see him return to Italy a better player. If someone wants to get the best out of Niang they would have to buy him and develop him properly.
Right now, West Ham are making the right decision to let this opportunity pass.