For the past ten days or so there have been an increasing number of reports linking Hoffeneheim striker Anthony Modeste with a move back to the Premier League. The list of clubs chasing the player’s signature is growing with the likes of Crystal Palace, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion reportedly interested.
Modeste has played well since his move to Hoffenheim from Bordeaux in 2013 (was on loan at Bastia); he scored 12 goals and grabbed 2 assists in his first season with the Sinsheim outfit. This season he has scored four goals in eleven appearances meaning that in his time at Hoffenheim he has averaged just under a goal every time two games. Modeste was, of course, part of the Hoffenheim team that famously scored 72 goals last season, only Bayern and Dortmund scored more, and thanks partly to his goals this season and last, the Baden-Württemberg club have recorded their highest ever points tally in a calendar year, 52.
Where as least season he was the undisputed first choice, this season he has had to contend with the arrival of Hungarian Ádam Szalai from FC Schalke. Whilst they have the same number of goals, Modeste has a better goals to game ratio, Szalai seems have the favour of coach Markus Gisdol.
Some English football fans might remember him from a six-month loan spell at Blackburn Rovers from Bordeaux which in the end was pretty unsuccessful as Blackburn were relegated and he was sent off in his final game for the club. He then went on loan to SC Bastia for a year before signing for Hoffenheim.
His agent, Mark McKay has certainly been giving out the right messages saying: “Anthony is a proven goalscorer. He is available and wants to prove himself in the Premier League”. It has been rumoured that Hoffenheim will accept a bid of £5 million this month despite the fact that they turned down a £7 million pound bid from Lokomotiv Moscow in the summer. Fellow Bundesliga sides VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin have also apparently expressed an interest.
Swansea recently sold striker WIlfried Bony to Manchester City for £25 million pounds meaning they’re in need of a replacement and also have a hefty amount of cash to use. West Brom’s budget is significantly lower but they are just as badly in need of frontman. Saido Berahino is top scorer with 9 goals but he repeatedly been linked with a move to Liverpool and the rest of the Baggies's strikers have managed just two goals between them.
From Hoffenheim’s point of view it would be disappointing to lose a quality striker who contributed so much to the team over the past season and a half but a sale of £5 million would pretty much double what they initially paid for him.
Also as mentioned earlier Szalai now appears to be first choice and Sven Schipplock is probably the surprise of the season for Hoffenheim, his form even saw him start a couple of games towards the end of the Hinrunde. Combine that with the fact that Kevin Volland can also play upfront if needed and big things are expected of youngster Janik Haberer then it seems like smart business from Sporting Director Alexander Rosen and coach Markus Gisdol.