According to reports in the South American media, Miguel Almiron is a major target for West Ham this January.

Manuel Pellegrini is keen to add to his attacking midfield department due to a number of injuries.

With Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko both out for the long-term, West Ham need an injection of creativity in the midfield ranks.

And Almiron has been identified as a potential target this January.

The news story

Miguel Almiron currently plays for Atlanta United in the MLS. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

According to Paraguayan media outlet Ultima Hora, West Ham look set to win the race for Almiron.

The Paraguay international will reportedly cost the Hammers around $33m to snap him up from Atlanta United.

Despite attracting interest from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham are in pole position to sign Almiron.

The 24-year-old has scored 12 goals and added 11 assists in 32 MLS games, as per Who Scored.

But here is why signing Almiron would be a risky piece of business this January.

Lack of European experience

Miguel Almiron is a Paraguay international with 12 caps to his name. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Almiron has never played football in Europe and it could be a tough learning curve for him.

The silky midfielder is a playmaker and is known for his creative touch. But there is a big jump to the Premier League, which is much more physical than the South and North American leagues.

 

Almiron started his career in Paraguay with Cerro Porteno before moving to Argentinian side Lanus.

He has played for Atlanta United since December 2016 and he is thriving in the United States.

But there is a huge gulf in standard between the MLS and the Premier League. And joining in January gives Almiron little time to hit the ground running in a new league.

He would be encouraged by the strong South American and Spanish-speaking contingent at West Ham.

And he would join fellow Paraguay team-mate Fabian Balbuena at West Ham. But there is no denying that it would be a risk to expect Almiron to immediately make an impact in England.

Hefty price tag

At $33m, Almiron is not a cheap buy. It equates to over £25m.

West Ham would have to spend a lot of money again to sign the midfield talent.

After shelling over £100m in the summer window, can West Ham justify another window of big spending?

The verdict

Almiron is certainly a maverick talent and he knows how to score goals and set them up for team-mates.

But at $33m and given his lack of English experience, Almiron might not be the immediate Yarmolenko replacement that West Ham fans may hope for.

It could turn out to be a risk worth taking but can West Ham afford to gamble this sort of money in January?

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