West Ham’s reported interest to Barcelona player Martin Braithwaite shows that there are still issues with the club’s recruitment.
While West Ham was busy signing Jarrod Bown and Tomas Soucek, an incredible story was brewing in La Liga. Braithwaite has been at Barcelona since February after his infamous move from Leganes. The Dane was Leganes best player and was their only hope of survival. Barca, who had suffered injuries to their strikers, was granted permission to sign him, despite the move happening after the transfer window closed.
There was significant fallout from this move as Leganes wasn’t allowed to sign replacement with the €18 million they made from the Danes sale. This transfer led to Leganes suffering relegation without their star man, and a big hole in the clubs attack. Braithwaite, on the other hand, played eleven times for the Catalonian giants and only scored once.
Now the summer window is open Barcelona can try and sign a more long-term solution to fix their attack. Braithwaite will become a reserve player if he stays and will likely be looking for a move to guarantee first-team football.
West Ham is on the lookout for a striker to partner Sebastien Haller next season, and Braithwaite would fill that position. But Barca will only sell him for the price they paid for him, and the 29-year-old is likely to be very high wages. These financial demands mean any move for the forward would drain a substantial amount of money from the club.
The former Middlesborough striker was previously linked to Hammers before he moved to Tyneside. In the Premier League, Braithwaite did not display the form of a future Barcelona player. The forward scored nine and assisted two in forty appearances for Boro.
David Moyes has said that he wants to sign young and hungry players and Braithwaite does not fit this bill. West Ham fans would much rather see the club make moves for QPR’s Eberechi Eze or Brentford’s Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins. These players would not cost as much as the Dane and all have far more potential to become top performers at the London Stadium.
Interest in Braithwaite shows a lack of forward-thinking and imagination. Signing Braithwaite would be reminiscent of the scatter-gun approach of years gone by.