West Ham to snatch Man United duo Ashley Young and Wilfried Zaha
West Ham, 5/2 to secure a top 10 finish this term, are apparently interested in making a spectacular double loan swoop for Manchester United wingers Ashley Young and Wilfried Zaha.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce seems keen to add further quality to the Hammers in wide areas, following reports of a rejected bid for in-demand Ukraine international Yevhen Konoplyanka.
It is believed the disappointing duo of Young and Zaha will be allowed to leave Old Trafford, as new Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal begins to reshape the squad in his image.
With Big Sam moving quickly in the market, it is an exciting time to be a West Ham fan. The east London outfit have already snapped up Ecuador’s World Cup star Enner Valencia, former Birmingham forward Mauro Zarate, exciting left back Aaron Cresswell and tough-tackling ex-Anderlecht midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate.
Big-spending Allardyce has also secured the services of promising youngster Diego Poyet, son of Sunderland boss Gus, on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic. The additions of Young and Zaha would provide attacking impetus to a side that only netted 40 goals in 38 league games last season, and were often criticised by fans and media for an uninspiring style of play.
Zaha, in particular, would fit the profile of recent West Ham signings, with Big Sam having already taken a gamble on England youth player, and ex-United starlet, Ravel Morrison. This precocious talent starred on loan at QPR last term, and has returned to the fold at Upton Park, hoping to make a fresh start.
The prospect of the technically gifted Morrison and unpredictable Zaha linking up, and realising their potential under Allardyce, is tantalising for both Hammers and England fans alike.
Zaha, a Crystal Palace academy product, is still only 21, but endured a stuttering start to life at Old Trafford last season. After impressing during United’s pre-season tour, the tricky winger barely featured for the struggling Premier League giants under much-maligned former manager David Moyes, and was eventually farmed out on loan to Cardiff City.
Red Devils legend, and Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, took the versatile youngster, who can play anywhere across the front three, under his wing. Zaha, however, who famously became Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever signing for United, only impressed in fits and bursts. His performances were a far cry from the swashbuckling form which helped inspire Palace to Premier League promotion in 2012/13.
Zaha’s current clubmate and fellow England international Ashley Young also failed to make an impact last campaign after struggling for form and with injury, with a loan stint needed to revive his reputation.
After three fairly underwhelming seasons at United, the former Aston Villa star, who can be deployed in a number 10 role as well as on the wing, found himself left out of Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.
Having only netted 11 times in 86 appearances for the Red Devils, a transfer with lower expectations for the under-performer could see Young recapture the confidence that persuaded United to purchase him.
Both Zaha and Young would be useful, low-risk additions to Big Sam’s squad, with West Ham relative outsiders 6/1 to be relegated this campaign. If the duo do arrive at Upton Park, they are unlikely to be the last acquisitions, with the Hammers also linked heavily to Boca Juniors left back Emanuel Insua, brother of ex-Liverpool defender Emiliano.