According to reports, West Ham have enquired about the signing of Norwegian striker Jorgen Strand Larsen from Celta Vigo, as a potential alternative to long-term target Youssef En-Nesyri.

New Hammers boss Julen Lopetegui is looking to bolster his strike force ahead of the 24/25 campaign, both Michail Antonio and Danny Ings struggled for goalscoring form last term. Ings is set to depart, with former club Southampton said to be interested. Lopetegui will keep Antonio at the club but is seen as a rotation option.

Many West Ham fans would expect the club to go for a more proven striker signing, whether that be Tammy Abraham, who is proven in England or Youssef En-Nesyri, who has proven he can score goals under Lopetegui at Sevilla.

The Norwegian would likely cost £25-30m, so it is unlikely the club will opt to move for him instead of a more proven option for a similar price.

Jorgen Strand Larsen is a name that isn’t very well known in the footballing world just yet. His profile very much fits Julen Lopetegui’s style of football. While the Spaniard demands his team to be extremely comfortable on the ball, this isn’t really the case for the striker. Especially at Sevilla, the other ten players would simply look to get the ball into the striker to create as many chances as possible.

Youssef En-Nesyri’s on the ball stats were and still are woeful due to playing as a poacher. While slightly better on the ball than the Moroccan, like En-Nesyri, Larsen’s stats are the best when it comes to goals scored, expected goals and aerial duels won.

They are also very similar in terms of height, Larsen is half an inch taller than En-Nesyri, standing at 6’4. Despite not being quite as good aerially as En-Nesyri, who is arguably the best header of a ball in Europe, Larsen does score plenty of goals with his head.

Only one of the Norwegian’s 17 goals last campaign came from inside the penalty area, with a lot of them coming from just yards from goal after crosses from wide areas, a lot like how Lopetegui sides have attacked throughout his managerial career.

He began his youth career in his homeland before making the switch to Italy to join AC Milan U19s on loan in 2017. He returned to his parent club Sarpsborg 08 in July 2018. Back at the club and now a first team regular, Larsen scored six goals and provided nine assists in 39 matches. Despite not sounding too impressive, it earned him a move to Dutch side Groningen.

His stats really improved in the Eredivisie, scoring nine goals, and setting up six in 30 matches in 20/21.

His goalscoring numbers really improved in 21/22 which earned him a move to Celta Vigo. The centre-forward bagged 17 goals and 2 assists in 35 games in all competitions.

Jorgen Strand Larsen had an up and down first season in Galicia, scoring five and assisting six in 35 games in LaLiga and the Copa del Rey. Again, like his second season at Groningen his goalscoring improved at Celta last campaign, scoring thirteen and assisting three in 37 matches.

While a move for Jorgen Strand Larsen isn’t one that wouldn’t particularly excite Hammers fans, it could be a smart move. He suits the system, is young at 24-years-old and won’t cost a silly amount of money. So, if Lopetegui is unable to reunite with his top target Youssef En-Nesyri, Strand Larsen could be an excellent alternative. He would be a better option than Tammy Abraham who is coming off the back of almost a year out after suffering an ACL injury.

By Daniel Luker