Breaking news from France is that Ishak Belfodil the French-Algerian forward who has been warming the bench at Inter this season is on his way to West Ham. L'Arena reports that apparently, a six-month loan deal has been agreed that will bring him to the Boleyn until the end of the current season. West Ham fans will hope that this is the start of a series of squad enhancements that can propel them to safety as they face into 2014 second from bottom of the Premiership.
Is the Algerian international the answer to West Ham’s problems? Well, for sure Belfodil has got some Allardyce characteristics –he’s big at 191cm, also muscular weighing in at 86kg and as footage of him in action shows he’s also pretty pacey and hard to dispossess– perhaps a bit like a mixture between Diame and Vaz Te, but looks stronger than both in the air.
For Inter he has been employed mostly as a right-sided forward rather than as all-out striker and has a scoring record that does not suggest he is quite the hitman that many are hoping for – having scored a respectable 8 goals for Parma last season (mostly headers and some pretty impressive efforts amongst them) he has struggled at Inter and remains to break his duck with them. he managed to get himself voted onto the Serie A flops of the year (no goals, one red card for fighting off the ball!!!), but Italian soccer press can be pretty cruel and in reality he has not been given much of a chance and almost certainly would plead that he has been largely played out of position on the wing rather than his prefrred centre forward berth. However, Hammers fans will note that at a mere 21 years of age and with pretty sporadic experience in the French and Italian Leagues, he lacks the experience that the pressures of a Premiership relegation dog fight require.
|Only for the different colour of boots they'd be identical...|
In the background is a pretty complicated legaal arrangement between Inter and his former club Parma who retain 50% ownership of him, although it is unclear whether this is likely to prove relevant to a loan deal and may only become an issue if a more permanent deal is sought.
The reports suggest that he will arrive in the next few days.......Waddaya think???