David Moyes needs recruits. West Ham needs players. With goals coming all too infrequently this season, who can the Hammers target to help solidify the team and give a boost goal production?
Enter Joe Lolley, Nottingham Forest’s talisman and goal-producing winger. The 27-year-old Englishman has been producing offense for Nottingham Forest ever since joining the club in the January transfer window in 2018.
With 20 goals in 76 league games in that stretch of time, Lolley has shown off his development from Kidderminster to Huddersfield, to Scunthorpe (loan), to the everyday starter for Forest as a dynamic, playmaking and play finishing winger. He’s still banging them in for Forest, too, with six goals and five assists this season, including his brace this past week.
Now, winger doesn’t sound like what Moyes likes to use, does it? Well, look at Moyes’ recent history at West Ham: Marko Arnautovic – struggling winger turned centre-forward goal machine, Manuel Lanzini – underfiring central midfielder/wide midfielder turned surging secondary striker in a more advanced role, and lastly Felipe Anderson – finally scores a goal after being moved to a free-roaming forward position.
Lolley has the propensity and skill to impact the game from wide positions, but also from range – and area the Hammers have lacked quality in for a long time. Should Lolley be picked up, he would be an everyday starter on the right side in a 4-4-2 but would also be key in playing centrally in a 3-5-2 formation.
Under contract until 2023, Lolley seemingly likes Nottingham Forest, and they probably love him right back. It would take a solid chunk of change to pry him off their hands. That being said, at 27, Lolley would probably relish the idea of rejoining a Premier League team after only playing in six matches in Huddersfield Town’s 2017/18 season.
Oh, and he did manage to score one goal in that small sample size. It came when he was played as a secondary striker… against West Ham in a 4-1 win for the Hammers.
The crux of bringing in this potential transfer target comes from the owners of the club. More specifically, will they spend the money on a player like this? He’s a like-for-like replacement for Andriy Yarmolenko with more pace and versatility, so why not move the latter to bring in Lolley? While it could make all the sense in the world, it’s unlikely we see this player in claret and blue. Shame.