West Ham United were reportedly leading the race for Miguel Almiron earlier this month only to be trumped by Newcastle United on deadline day.
West Ham and Newcastle were both heavily linked with a move for MLS star Almiron throughout January.
Both clubs are in need of more creativity for different reasons.
The Hammers have a Premier League-worst injury list which includes losing Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko. Meanwhile Jack Wilshere also remains out with ongoing issues with his ankle.
West Ham were in box seat for Almiron
Rafa Benitez simply needs better quality players to help his side push up the table.
According to TyC Sports in Argentina, MLS runner-up MVP and Atlanta star Almiron looked set to sign for West Ham in January.
There he would join Paraguay teammate Fabian Balbuena.
But it was Newcastle instead who signed Almiron for a club record £21 million (NUFC.co.uk).
Of course Newcastle’s need was greater than West Ham’s especially after the Hammers splashed out £100 million last summer.
Grave error by Hammers amid Lanzini uncertainty
But at £21 million West Ham have made a grave error not pushing the boat out for the player as a replacement for talismanic playmaker Lanzini.
The Argentine is still recovering from a very serious knee injury sustained in training for his country before last summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Manuel Pellegrini recently stated Lanzini could be back by March. But he had been expected to miss the entire season.
Whether he returns as the same player after such a lengthy lay-off remains to be seen.
Almiron the perfect successor to Lanzini
Indeed football history is littered with players who have suffered similar injuries and never recovered their former glory.
Almiron is very much in the Lanzini mould. And at 24 he could well have been the ideal successor for West Ham.
As a result the former Atlanta United man would have given the Hammers a much-needed spark for the rest of the season.
The playmaker is exactly the kind of young star West Ham should be building a team around alongside the likes of Issa Diop and Declan Rice.
West Ham fans will be interested spectators to see how Almiron’s move to St James’ Park pans out.