In just 12 months, David Moyes transformed West Ham United from relegation candidates into a side capable of competing for European places.
Across the Channel, Julien Stephan is certainly hot on the heels of the Hammers boss, at least when it comes to turning ugly ducklings into soaring swans.
When Stephan took over the Alsace team in July 2021, Strasbourg were just two points above the Ligue 1 relegation zone. 10 months ahead and, while Strasbourg ended up missing Europe, the fact that they were still fighting for the top 6 point before the last day is a testament to the remarkable work done at the Stade de la Meinau by one of the most promising French tacticians.
And while Moyes’ success at the London Stadium is built on the Scot’s ability to tease out every potential in his squad – and turn unloved old pros like Craig Dawson, Michail Antonio and company into players capable of playing at a far higher level Level of play – Ludovic Ajorque’s 12 goals and eight assists in 36 Ligue 1 games is a testament to Stephan’s superb leadership, his almost unrivaled ability to turn good into great.
West Ham United need a striker this summer
Ajorque, an aspiring 28-year-old centre-forward, had not set foot in top-flight football until 2018/19.
But for the second year in a row, the 6-foot-6-ins manberg has broken the 20 mark for combined goals and assists in Ligue 1. Only six players in the division managed more.
“Ajorque has been with us for four years and has made great strides here,” said Strasbourg President Marc Keller Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace.
“We are very happy with him as a player and as a person. He has always behaved in an exemplary manner. But after all this time, he might be wondering if he needs a new challenge.
“We hope to keep him. But if he wants to leave and a big offer is made, we’ll talk about it. If they (our key players) leave, they will be replaced. That is part of club life.”
FootMercato claim West Ham scouted Ajorque extensively earlier this season. It’s no secret that Moyes is desperate for another centre-forward to take the pressure off Antonio’s shoulders.
And with Strasbourg making it clear they won’t stand in his way should offers come in, that may be the only motivation West Ham need to cement their interest in a man who, like many at the London stadium, confuses critics .
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https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/05/24/west-ham-can-sign-6ft-6ins-striker-with-12-goal-star-free-to-go/ West Ham can sign a 6ft 6in forward with a 12-goal star free