West Ham’s search for a new striker has led to them making a loan offer for Juventus’s Gonzalo Higuain, according to reports in Italy.
The 31-year-old left Chelsea after the Blues opted against taking up their purchase option for the player, and he is currently in limbo with Juve looking to offload him.
The Italian club are demanding €40m (£36m) for Higuain but if they do eventually decide to loan him out once again, should the Hammers go back in for him?
Here are some pros and cons to signing the Argentinian striker:
Higuain has scored 295 goals in his senior career and most of them have come at the highest level in Spain and Italy. He played 264 times for Real Madrid, averaging a goal every other game.
During his time in Serie A with Juventus, Napoli and AC Milan, he was even more prolific, scoring a goal on average every 1.76 matches.
Juventus want to offload the striker this summer, but they have yet to find a buyer for the Argentine. Roma were rumoured to be interested but they are unlikely to be able to afford the player.
He could add depth to the squad
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini currently has just Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill who are recognised strikers in the first team squad. Even if the Hammers do sign a high profile striker permanently this summer, they may still want another forward to increase their options upfront.
If Higuain can be snapped up on a season-long loan deal, he would add depth and provide the manager with another attacking outlet.
He’s in decline
At 31, Higuain has shown some worrying signs over the past year. According to Wyscout, in the 2016/17 campaign, where he scored 32 goals, his xG was around 25.76, which means he scored around six more goals than he should have done based on the difficulty of chances.
During his last year with Juventus, he scored 23 goals with an xG of 17.95, meaning he scored five more goals than expected. However, last season with Milan and Chelsea, he scored just 13 with an xG of 16.72. The Argentine scored fewer goals with the same quality of chances.
He’s not mobile
Higuain is not blessed with a great deal of pace and, combined with the fact he isn’t the tallest either, he would be completely reliant on the service he is provided.
In some sense, the Irons already have a player like that in the squad with Javier Hernandez. Would Pellegrini really need two similar strikers?
He would cost a lot
Even if it was a loan deal, Juve would demand a sizeable loan fee for Higuain, and combined with his wage demands, the striker would have to be a cast-iron starter for the club to justify the outlay on him.