Luis Suarez with better aerial ability? These stats show West Ham target is perfect for the Prem

In the aftermath of the whole Marko Arnautovic to China saga, West Ham seem to have been identifying potential candidates to replace the want-away Austrian, who now looks set to stay at the club until at least the summer after signing a new contract (as per the BBC).

With the 29-year-old seemingly getting his wish, but for a six-month delay, the Hammers also seem to have come to some sort of conclusion on who they want to replace the former Stoke forward when he does eventually depart the London Stadium.

Who have they identified?

Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez, who is highly rated by many around Europe and has even been touted as the heir to Luis Suarez’s throne at Barcelona (as per AS), appears to be the main target in the Irons’ sights.

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Sky Sports recently revealed that the Hammers are willing to meet the Uruguayan international’s £43.2m release clause, with the intention of loaning him back to the club until the summer (Celta need Gomez to help them secure their La Liga status). So, why is he in such high demand?

How has he fared this term?

Well, the 22-year-old has been in excellent form so far this season, scoring nine goals and recording five assists in 17 La Liga starts. At 6′ 1″, the young forward is also a physically imposing presence in and around the box, with his aerial ability a key feature of his play as seen by the fact he wins 3.9 aerial duels per game.

To put that in perspective, Suarez, who is also a tenacious striker who loves a bit of rough and tumble, boasts a measly 0.4 aerial wins per game throughout his career, according to Whoscored.

It could well be this that has attracted the Hammers, as he seems tailor made to the rigorous nature of the English game. Gomez isn’t afraid to try his luck at goal either, not at all.

Maxi Gomez - Luis Suarez with better aerial ability? These stats show West Ham target is perfect for the Prem

He has averaged 2.4 shots per game in the Spanish top-flight this season, which, along with the aforementioned statistics, suggests that he is an all-action, hungry striker who displays typical South American determination as we saw throughout Suarez’s time on these shores with Liverpool.

If they do manage to wrap up a deal by meeting his £43.2m release clause, then West Ham could well be getting a fantastic deal for a player with huge potential, in what is an extremely difficult market to negotiate in.

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