Five facts on reported West Ham target Juan Cazares

Ecuadorian international midfielder Juan Cazares is a target for West Ham United.

Cazares has been linked with a number of European clubs following a strong campaign with Argentine club Banfield.

On-loan at Banfield from parent club River Plate, the 22-year-old netted five goals in 39 games, and his impressive form was enough to earn him his first international honours. He scored on his full debut for Ecuador - netting the second goal in a 4-0 thrashing of Bolivia - and has since turned out three times the Amarillos. It could be considered a risk to sign a young player who has been unproven in Europe, but the Hammers completed a deal for Enner Valencia over the summer, and he has done much to impress the English crowds.

It was during a scouting trip on Valencia that the Hammers were made aware of Cazares’ talents, with manager Sam Allardyce reportedly ordering a report of the youngster having impressed for his nation playing alongside Valencia. As reported by LaRepublica, Allardyce immediately went about opening talks with River Plate, and it has been claimed that a deal is already on the table.

Despite the increasing interest in the 22-year-old, little is known of him, and so here are five facts to get you in the know.

1) A product of Ecuadorian youth system, Cazares started his career with Barcelona SC, before moving to Independiente Jose Teran and then River Plate. He has made 59 professional appearances in his career, and has registered 14 goals.

2) He has been described as “an attacking midfielder with incredible technique, great agility and speed, and a great free-kicker.” With the changing nature of Allardyce’s squad, Cazares looks to be the perfect midfielder to sit alongside the increasingly creative talents on show.

3) Having already won three caps for Ecuador, and looking to be a key feature of their squads for the upcoming years, West Ham should have little trouble in securing a work permit for the youngster should they attempt to complete a deal in January.

4) He was named player of the tournament at the Under-20 Copa Libertadores, having scored four goals in six games as River Plate won the title with a 1-0 victory over Defensor Sporting in the final.

5) A small and slight physical build could be his only weakness in the Premier League, but it is nothing that training could not overcome, and he promises to be a real talent should he complete a move to the Boleyn Ground.

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