South American football expert Tim Vickery has delivered his verdict on West Ham’s reported new move for Brazilian striker Marcos Leonardo.
The countdown is on until the January transfer window slams shut next Tuesday.
It represents a last chance saloon for West Ham and David Moyes to make signings to fix the club’s glaring issues as they fight to stay in the Premier League.
Perhaps the most glaring of all those issues, though, has been scoring goals.
Moyes has tried to do that by signing Danny Ings from Aston Villa but he was injured less than 24 hours after being unveiled by West Ham.
Reports continue to link West Ham with a move for Lorient striker Terem Moffi.
And now West Ham are said to have made a late window move for new striker target Leonardo after launching an opening bid.
Santos have reportedly rejected a initial loan bid from West Ham for the 19-year-old wonderkid, who scored 21 goals in 57 appearances during a breakthrough 2022.
Now South American football expert Tim Vickery has delivered his verdict on a West Ham move for Brazilian striker Leonardo.
There are few more qualified to talk about players from South America than Vickery – the self-styled expert on football from that area of the world.
Vickery, an English freelance football journalist who has lived in Brazil since 1994, is the South American football correspondent for outlets such as BBC Sport, ESPN, talkSPORT and Sky Sports.
He is often the go-to man when Premier League clubs are linked with South American players.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Vickery discussed the links to West Ham and what Leonardo might – and might not – bring to the Hammers.
But he also questioned whether the young star would be able to make an immediate impact if he does move to the London Stadium in the next five days.
“He would have been Brazil’s centre forward at the Under-20s (South American Youth Football Championship) had Santos released him but they haven’t,” Vickery said on talkSPORT.
“There is a kind of Aguero-type striker there, he is not particularly tall but comes alive in the penalty box and I think there is talent there as well.
“He needs to be supplied. I remember seeing him last year, I was really, really looking forward to seeing him but he had an absolute mare. Everything he did outside the box fell to pieces but I like him a lot, inside the penalty box.
“He has got that ability in tight spaces, that kind of Aguero or Romario-type ability.
“You wonder if he would make an immediate impact at West Ham, I probably doubt it, but he is one for the long haul.”
Many West Ham fans will be aware that head of recruitment Rob Newman spent time in Brazil forging connections with clubs earlier this season.
That resulted in West Ham signing defender Luizao – who has initially been placed in the development squad – this month.
It remains to be seen whether Leonardo will join him and fellow Brazlian-born stars Lucas Paqueta and Emerson Palmieri in east London by next Tuesday or whether it is a deal West Ham revisit in the summer.