West Ham linked with 35-goal Argentine striker - Three questions

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham are said to be weighing up a bid for Catania forward Gonzalo Bergessio as the club’s transfer market campaign hits top gear.

The Hammers have already wrapped up the signings of striker Mauro Zarate from Velez Sarsfield and versatile midfielder Cheikou Kouyate from Anderlecht.

Manager Sam Allardyce is said to want four other new additions on top of the pair, and so it looks as if the London outfit will continue to be active over the course of the summer.

Catania’s Gonzalo Bergessio is the latest man linked with an Upton Park switch, with TuttoMercatoWeb claiming contact has been made with the Argentine.

Following are three questions posed by West Ham’s reported interest in securing Bergessio’s services.

What can he offer the Hammers?

Bergessio primarily has played centrally in a trident attack during his three plus years at Catania, flanked by pacy wingers such as Pablo Barrientos and Alejandro Gomez.

Though the Argentine is solid with the ball at his feet, he’s most comfortable receiving the ball in the penalty area and turning to pick his spot with a shot on goal.

Despite his relatively modest stature - 5 foot 10 - Bergessio has a good leap and can also be a threat in the air with adequate service from wide areas.

For the past two seasons the 29-year-old has finished as Catania’s top scorer in Serie A, having netted 35 goals in 109 career appearances in the Italian top flight.

Would his signing signal a change in Sam Allardyce’s tactics?

Allardyce has reportedly been pressured by the West Ham hierarchy to adjust his typically direct style of play and offer a more entertaining brand of football next term.

The capture of the tricky Zarate seemed to be an effort to move the side in this direction, but it’s debatable if signing Bergessio would also be a move in this direction.

It’s possible that the Argentine would be used as a direct back up for Andy Carroll, with Zarate playing a more creative role in the side.

Injuries decimated West Ham’s attacking ranks for long periods last season, and Allardyce will be determined to have adequate cover this time around to avoid a similar situation.

How much would Bergessio cost?

Catania’s calamitous relegation from Serie A means the club will need to sell several of their best players this summer, with Bergessio a likely candidate to leave.

The Argentine is valued at £5 million by Transfermarkt, but it’s likely the Sicilian outfit would accept an offer closer to £3 million given their precarious financial position at the moment.

Bergessio’s salary at the Stadio Angelo Massimino is reportedly in the region of £10,000 per week, so signing him wouldn’t have a drastic impact on West Ham’s wage bill.

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