West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham transfers: Four Ruben Amorim favourites who’d be ideal signings from Sporting

Ryan Baldi
Ousmane Diomande, Viktor Gyokeres, Goncalo Inacio and Morten Hjulmand around the West Ham badge

Several of Amorim's Sporting stars could be ideal signings for West Ham

After being a rumoured candidate to be the next manager of Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, Ruben Amorim could instead be set for a surprise switch to West Ham.

The Hammers are reportedly ready to part ways with David Moyes at the end of the season after a run of form that has seen them win just four of their 21 games since the turn of the year.

Amorim, the 39-year-old manager of Portuguese league leaders Sporting CP, is said to have met with West Ham’s owners in London this week.

If West Ham manage to land the in-demand young coach, here are four Sporting players Amorim could target for a reunion at the London Stadium.

Viktor Gyokeres

West Ham’s top scorer this season is Jarrod Bowen, a winger by trade who has been thriving as a striker due to a lack of other options at Moyes’ disposal.

The highest-scoring natural centre-forward – although he began his career as a full-back and then a winger – in the West Ham squad is Michail Antonio, with five Premier League goals.

The Hammers attempted to remedy their need for a top-class marksman two summers ago when they spent big to sign Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo. But the £30 million Italian scored just three Premier League goals in 16 games and was sold to Atalanta a year later.

That shouldn’t put them off trying again to find the calibre of striker Amorim would require in order to fulfil his vision at the London Stadium, though.

Viktor Gyokeres and Michail Antonio stats

At 25, Viktor Gyokeres is something of a late bloomer. A previous spell at Brighton saw him make just eight appearances for the club before, after a series of loans, signing for Coventry in the Championship.

A return of 43 goals in 116 games for the Sky Blues earned the Swede a move to Sporting last summer, and his form in Lisbon this season has made him one of the most in-demand strikers in Europe.

With 36 goals in 43 games, Gyokeres is the firepower behind Sporting’s title push. He’d certainly help super-charge the Amorim era at the London Stadium, too. But a whopping €130 million release clause and rival interest from Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain means his signing would be difficult for West Ham to pull off.

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Goncalo Inacio

Reportedly a top transfer target for Liverpool and several other major European sides, West Ham would face stiff competition in a move for Goncalo Inacio.

But if the Hammers were able to land the 22-year-old defender, it’d be a coup on a par with the prospective hiring of Amorim.

Inacio is one of the great developmental successes of Sporting under Amorim. The 6ft 1 centre-back came through the club’s youth academy to make his senior debut in Amorim’s first full season at the helm, and he has been a mainstay of the first team ever since.

Powerful, athletic and possessing an excellent range of passing with his stronger left foot, Inacio has been a star performer on the left side of Sporting’s back three. He is also a scoring threat thanks to his imposing aerial presence, notching six times for club and country this term.

And considering his age, ability and future potential, the €60 million release clause Inacio’s Sporting contract represents real value for any potential suitor.

Morten Hjulmand

If Amorim takes over at the London Stadium, one of the key tactical differences fans will quickly spot between his style and what the club have produced under David Moyes – in addition to the implementation of a back three – is the aggressiveness of pressing the Portuguese coach instructs.

Under Amorim, Sporting press high to attempt to win possession in advanced positions and before the opposition can settle into a defensive structure. They also look to dominate the ball in matches against inferior opponents.

All of this requires a high level of athleticism, discipline and technical proficiency from the central midfielders. That’s why the middle of the West Ham midfield will likely be ripe for rejuvenation if the 39-year-old takes charge.

James Ward-Prowse, last summer’s marquee signing from Southampton, has the attributes to adapt to this kind of system. That is less the case for Tomas Soucek. The new boss would likely want to upgrade on the 29-year-old Czech.

An obvious target in that scenario is Morten Hjulmand. The 25-year-old Dane was a big-money signing from Lecce two years ago, with Sporting paying €18 million. And he would not be a cheap buy for the Hammers – his contract at the Estadio Jose Alvalade contains an €80 million release clause.

Hjulmand, perhaps more than any other Sporting player, is someone who could quickly help Amorim implement his style at West Ham, though, and as such would justify a hefty outlay.

Ousmane Diomande

Another young centre-back starring for Amorim’s Sporting, Diomande was linked with Liverpool recently when the Portuguese tactician was considered among the frontrunners to replace Jurgen Klopp.

The 20-year-old Ivory Coast international arrived from FC Midtjylland in January 2023 and has been outstanding on the right side of Sporting’s back three this term.

At 6ft 3, he is robust and has tremendous recovery pace in shutting off opposition transitions. He is also excellent technically, able to launch attacks from deep as a passer or a dribbler – all elements of his game that would aid Amorim’s tactical vision for West Ham.

Diomande is likely to be another expensive target, though, with a release clause set at €80 million.

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