The “Next Zlatan” Joins West Ham United: Do You Anything About Him?

Gianluca Scamacca of US Sassuolo Calcio and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan (Photo by Piero Cruciatti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Gianluca Scamacca of US Sassuolo Calcio and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan (Photo by Piero Cruciatti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

West Ham have sealed the deal for the “next Zlatan Ibrahimovic”. The deal for Gianluca Scamacca is complete with the pair of clubs agreeing to a reported fee of €36m plus €9m in add-ons, passing his medical on Tuesday past.

It’s been a few years now since Zlatan Ibrahimovic left the Premier League, having declared he had “conquered” English football.

While one may never see such an enigmatic personality in the Premier League again, his footballing facsimile (or the closest thing to it) has made a more low-key entrance to the English game.

Scamacca may not be a household name on British shores, but such is the hype surrounding the Italian international (since his youth football days in fact) that it was only a matter of time.

West Ham’s Newcomer Is a Tower of a Figure

The former PSV and Roma youth player is a giant of a man, standing at 6 foot 5 inches, but don’t let the lazy stereotypes of tall, gangly forwards fool you; the next Peter Crouch he is not.

Possessing a silky first touch and technical skill more befitting of a diminutive number 10, Scamacca is a valuable commodity in today’s game, a truly all-round striker. A dominant physical presence who is not scared of some argy-bargy with defenders, the forward possesses a unique eye for the acrobatic, to complement his proficient shooting and link-up play.

If that description sounds very familiar, then it will be of little surprise that the 23-year-old lists Ibrahimovic as the footballer on whose style of play he bases his own. In fact, Scamacca spoke of his pride at being compared to the Swedish legend in an interview on Serie A’s official YouTube channel, describing the AC Milan striker as a “champion”.

Will the”Next Zlatan” fit in at West Ham?

Now, more than three years after Zlatan joked the Hammers “could not afford him” on social media, his Italian protege Scamacca is apparently on his way to East London, having almost signed for PSG (Ibrahimovic’s former club) earlier in the window. If West Ham gets half the player Ibrahimovic was in his prime, then the reported 35 million pound fee (including add-ons) will be money well spent.

In fact, it has been almost three years since the Irons last signed an out-and-out striker, in the form of Sebastien Haller, for a club-record fee. Since the Frenchman departed in 2021, only Michail Antonio (himself originally a winger) has been available to play up front; Scamacca’s arrival would represent a long-awaited and badly needed reinforcement in that department.

Questions remain over Scamacca’s fit at the London Stadium, with many keen to point out similarities with Haller, who flopped in his time at the club. West Ham fans have little to worry about though; beyond a similar height and a penchant for spectacular touches, the players are quite different.

Scamacca is a more willing runner, relishes a physical battle far more than Haller did, and is quicker to boot. While no player is a certainty to adapt to a new club in a foreign league, Scamacca, at first glance, possesses the tools to fit in better with West Ham’s style of play than Haller did.

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And if ever the Italian needed an example of a foreign striker to model his English game on, there were few better than his idol Zlatan.