Duvan Zapata: 6 Things to Know About the West Ham Target

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.

Duvan Zapata

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.

Duvan Zapata

The Colombian stands at around 6'2, but boasts the jumping ability to make himself even taller. Combine that with his obscene strength, and you've got a striker who could fit in perfectly in the ​Premier League.


You would think his strength means he has to sacrifice some agility, but that could not be further from the truth. Zapata is quick. Really quick. He can run at defenders, shrug them off with ease, and send the ball crashing into the back of the net without breaking a sweat.


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.

Duvan Zapata

Speaking to ​L'Eco di Bergamo, Zapata suggested that his physicality could be to blame for his slow start, saying: "​My physical characteristics impose a certain breaking-in period for me at the start of a season."


In short, he fears his strength and weight makes it hard for him to recover match fitness, and the problem only worsens following a summer away from the field. However, if he can make up for a slow start with months of stunning form, West Ham fans will soon forgive him.


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.

Duvan Zapata,Martin Demichelis

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'.

Nicolas Nkoulou,Duvan Zapata

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.

Duvan Zapata,Mario Pasalic

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

Source: 90min