West Ham United have been looking for a new striker for months, and the latest man to be earmarked for a move to the club is Colombian hotshot Duvan Zapata.
The 27-year-old has been scoring goals for fun on loan at Atalanta from Sampdoria, boasting a similar record to Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A this year. He has been winning fans across the globe, and could soon be gracing the Premier League if West Ham get their wish.
Here are six things you should know about Zapata.
The Hammers Pulled Out of a Deal to Sign Him 6 Years Ago
If his name rings a bell for any West Ham fans, that's likely because they came close to signing Zapata from Argentinian side Estudiantes in 2013.
They agreed a deal to sign the forward for just under £7m, but couldn't get a work permit for him as he was yet to feature for the Colombian senior team. As a result, the Hammers had to pull the plug on the move and look elsewhere.
He was supposed to partner fellow new signing Andy Carroll, but West Ham had to make do with signing Carlton Cole and Mladen Petric instead. Did somebody say upgrade? No?
He's a Real Physical Specimen
Some people have to work had to get in good physical shape, but others are blessed with naturally stunning athleticism, and Zapata is one of those fortunate souls.
But He Thinks His Physicality Can Cause Problems
For Zapata to be near the top of the league's scoring charts is nothing short of extraordinary, especially since it took him ten matches to score his first goal.
Speaking to L'Eco di Bergamo, Zapata suggested that his physicality could be to blame for his slow start, saying: "
He Spent His Early Years as a Winger
Earlier in his career, Zapata was regularly criticised for his lack of end product, but that is largely due to the fact that he barely played as a striker until he was already a fully-grown adult.
Instead, he was a winger, and you can tell just by watching him. Zapata loves to run with the ball, and has a keen eye for a nice pass or cross. He creates plenty of chances for his teammates, making him a dream to play alongside.
Now he has added goals to his vast repertoire, Zapata is even more dangerous in the final third.
He Has Had Plenty of Nicknames in the Past
In history, all great players have come with a nickname. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was 'The Baby-Faced Assassin', Franz Beckenbauer was 'The Kaiser', and Zapata is colloquially known as 'The Big Panther'.
The comparisons to the powerful animal are clear, but that's not the only nickname he has ever been given. Many Italians used to call him 'un scarpone' - a big shoe, in English - in an attempt to criticise his lack of grace and tactical prowess earlier in his career. Fortunately, he soon proved them wrong.
In fact, after netting four in January's win over Frosinone, many began to call him 'King Duvan'. He's got plenty of names to choose from, so take your pick.
He's Been Breaking Records in Italy
If you were in any doubt of Zapata's ability, just ask whoever is in charge of the record books in Italian football. They won't be forgetting about him any time soon.
He netted in eight consecutive Serie A games to shatter Atalanta's club record, and he managed to rack up 13 goals in just seven games to become the first man to accomplish such a feat since Antonio Angelillo in the 1958/59 season.
To put it bluntly, Duvan Zapata scores goals. West Ham fans should be praying that the club can pull this deal off, as he could be the man to take them to new heights.
Source : 90min