It's been reported that Slaven Bilic may have lined up a transfer for a young man he would have know from his time as manager of Croatia. The club have been heavily rumoured with being close to completing a deal for Alen Halilovic, for a fee believed to be in the region of £4.2 million, with an added buy-back clause inserted into the deal.
The Balkan Messi
During his time with his first club, Dinamo Zagreb, their supporters took to the youngster, who made his debut at only 16, as well as captivating them with some truly incredible performances. He also went on to become the second youngest player to feature in the UEFA Champions League. It wasn't long after his breakthrough that European clubs started to take note of Halilovic's raw talent and skill.
Characteristically, it is easy to see why. A low centre of gravity, quick feet, and (predominantly) a left footed player who plys his trade cutting in from the right wing. Able to pick out killer passes, more than capable of shooting from distance and, of course, a bag of tricks when he has the ball under his spell.
No Space For Accommodating
While Halilovic is undoubtedly a talented young footballer, Barcelona B's relegation to Segunda B is what has ultimately brought about the departure, and rumoured departure, of many of Barcelona's talented youth players. Why? Quite simply because they are on big contracts, which, aren't worth paying if the club's B team has just been relegated.
As well as this, those who have been rumoured to leave the club have all been players that have struggled to get appearances for the first team. Gerard Deulofeu's transfer to Everton recently exemplifies the calibre of player that can be picked up from Barcelona's B team. For instance, Deulofeu only made two appearances for the Barcelona first team in his four years at the club - with most of his time being spent out on loan. Halilovic, himself has only managed one appearance for the first team.
The easy route out for these players? The Premier League. With the TV money currently in a state which has seen even the lesser sides able to pull off remarkable deals, it would be easy for a club such as West Ham to not only afford such a talented young player, but, also be able to take on the wages that would be expected as well.
Creativity, Creativity, Creativity...
While the deal would undeniably improve West Ham's midfield, and perhaps more importantly, the strength of their squad's depth, it could perhaps be argued that the club are forgetting creativity won't get you everywhere.
The signings of Dimitri Payet and even Manchester City's Martin Samuelsen have shown that Bilic was happy to bring in the creativity needed to make the club a more exciting, and, more potent attacking force. But, with only Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll as the three strikers likely to be heavily used this season, could the East London outfit not do with another striker who is proven at Premier League level?