West Ham United will be going all out to sign a new striker in the summer while Arsenal have one of the best around.
David Moyes elected to wait until the end of the season to sign a replacement for Sebastien Haller.
It was a risky decision given West Ham only have injury-prone Michail Antonio spearheading their push for Europe.
Sunday’s opponents Arsenal look set to be busy in the summer too as Mikel Arteta continues his root and branch rebuild.
West Ham and Arsenal have different transfer priorities this summer
One area the Gunners do not have to worry about, though, is up front.
Arsenal have one of the best strikers around in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and an excellent back-up option in Alexandre Lacazette.
According to a report from 90 Min, West Ham are monitoring Aubameyang’s Gabon international teammate Aaron Boupendza.
The report claims Moyes is weighing up a potential move for the 24-year-old who is playing in Turkey for Hatayspor.
Boupendza is a great finisher and dribbler and is also very strong in the air according to WhoScored. That makes him perfect for the lone striker role under Moyes.
He has 18 goals in 26 games so far this season.
Hammers linked with Aubameyang’s Gabon teammate Boupendza as star gives recommendation to Arsenal
Reports have since emerged claiming the Hammers may have their work cut out after Aubameyang ‘recommended’ Boupendza to Arsenal (90 Min).
But the reality could be very different. Aubameyang’s sheer presence at Arsenal may actually work in West Ham’s favour.
If Boupendza joins West Ham he knows – given Moyes’s dearth of forward options – that he is more or less guaranteed game time and a chance to prove himself in the Premier League.
He would be the main man.
But the striker would know better than anyone that would not be the case behind Aubameyang at Arsenal.
Boupendza has struggled for game time for Gabon since breaking into the international setup five years ago.
Gunners captain may inadvertently push striker towards West Ham move
The West Ham target has been second choice behind Aubameyang, making just 13 appearances since 2016.
At club level Boupendza knows joining Arsenal would seal a similar fate. Throw in Lacazette and his chances of game time are even slimmer.
Aubameyang’s recommendation is an endorsement of Boupendza’s quality.
And that may give West Ham heart in the same way Tomas Soucek’s recommendation of Vladimir Coufal worked out so well.
But in this case Aubameyang may actually end up inadvertently pushing Boupendza towards West Ham simply by being the main man at Arsenal.
Moyes reportedly has a five striker shortlist for the summer.
Others in his sights include Slavia Prague’s Abdallah Sima, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Blackburn striker Adam Armstrong.