New West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini hasn’t been shy when it comes to splashing the cash this summer.
Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Andriy Yarmolenko have all arrived at the London Stadium for a combined cost of over £80m.
But could the Chilean chieftain have saved the best till last with Lucas Perez?
The 29-year-old striker is widely expected to join the Hammers in the next 48 hours on a reported £4m deal from Arsenal.
That transfer looks pretty unremarkable on the face of it. But we think it represents an excellent piece of business by the increasingly savvy East London club.
For a start, the fee is a pittance in today’s market.
Liverpool are demanding upwards of £20m for Danny Ings, while even in the Championship, Martyn Waghorn is commanding around £8m.
Those players both come with black marks against their respective names. Perez, by contrast, is proven on the big stage and has Champions League experience.
He netted 17 goals in 36 appearances for Deportivo La Coruna during the 2015-16 season in La Liga.
And although he wasn’t given a fair crack at the Emirates Stadium, he still managed seven goals in 20 matches, including a hat-trick against FC Basel in the UCL.
Nine goals in 35 league appearances back on loan at Depor last term isn’t a bad return either. Especially when you consider the club netted just 38 goals in total and were eventually relegated.
What we’re trying to say is, is that he still knows where the back of the net is.
At West Ham, he’ll have a much better supply line to feed off too. Pedro Obiang and the aforementioned pair of Yarmolenko and Anderson are all highly creative players.
There should be no shortage of chances for Perez, or fellow forward foils Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll.
We’ve been banging their drum all through the summer. And the signing of a player like Perez is exactly why.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing