By Danny Wright
West Ham are understood to be tracking Willian Jose as they look for a new striker at the end of the season, according to a report.
Calcio Mercato report that Slaven Bilic is eyeing up the Brazilian striker after an impressive debut season with La Liga club Real Sociedad.
Jose has scored 11 goals in 26 games across all competitions for Sociedad this season, nine of which have come in the league.
The 25-year-old isn’t goal shy when it comes to playing against big clubs either.
He scored a crucial second goal in his club’s 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid earlier this season as well as putting Sociedad a goal up against Barcelona with a header in a 1-1 draw.
He also bagged a brace in 48 minutes of football against Valencia in a 3-2 win.
Sociedad signed Jose from Deportivo Maldonado for a fee of around £5million in July 2016.
The Uruguayan club sent Jose out on several different loan spells to clubs including; Santos, Sao Paulo, Real Madrid Castilla and Real Zaragoza.
The Hammers are looking for back-up to their main striker Andy Caroll after he’s suffered from more injuries this season, and Hammers other striker options flopped.
They have struggled for goals from forward areas this season and Michael Antonio is the club’s top scorer with eight goals in all competitions. Andy Carroll is next with six goals.
Football Insider Verdict
Jose has come from relative obscurity to the attention of the Hammers and it’s not by chance. He has helped Sociedad to fifth in La Liga, just four points behind Atletico and could potentially help them to a Champions League place.
Zaza was a terrible signing for West Ham and fans will have been glad when he left in the summer. However, that just leaves Jonathan Calleri, who’s only scored one Premier League goal, and an injured Diafra Sakho as alternatives to an injury-prone Andy Caroll.
A new striker will be a summer priority for West Ham and the former Brazil Under-23 star could well be available at a bargain price. However, if Sociedad realise Champions League football, he will most likely want to test himself in the elite competition.
In other West Ham news, David Gold delivers an injury update on this 27-year-old.