What started as a frustrating transfer window for West Ham United supporters turned into one of the most exciting recruitment campaigns towards the end of the summer.
The reluctant sale of Declan Rice to Arsenal and protracted negotiations over Gianluca Scamacca’s return to Serie A cost the Hammers a substantial amount of time and energy.
And even after they sanctioned those deals, the reigning Europa Conference League holders proved notoriously unable to sign decent alternatives despite receiving a truckload of money.
When it looked like David Moyes’s squad, which showed limitations during a poor 2022/23 Premier League season, would start the new campaign weaker than last year, West Ham embarked on a shopping spree.
James Ward-Prowse’s arrival from Southampton triggered West Ham’s blitzkrieg in the transfer window, which subsequently brought Edson Alvarez, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Mohammed Kudus to London.
The ex-Southampton captain’s acquisition was a must-have signing after Rice’s switch across the capital, but the capture of Kudus from Ajax caught everyone by surprise.
Heavily linked with several other Premier League clubs during the summer, the 23-year-old signed for West Ham four days before the deadline in a deal worth €44.5 million plus add-ons.
Whether it’s because of his price tag, which has seen him become the second-most expensive player in Ghana’s history or his burgeoning talent, Kudus is believed to be the Hammers’ most valuable asset.
Despite barely setting his foot on the Premier League grounds – making a single-minute cameo appearance in a 2-1 win at Luton Town last time out – the Ghanaian forward’s market value is off the charts at the London Stadium.
That’s according to an independent analysis conducted by CIES.
Per their report, Kudus’ worth exceeds €60m, which puts him at the top of the list, ahead of quicksilver forward Jarrod Bowen and marquee playmaker Lucas Paqueta.
Kudus’ closest competitors reportedly boast a market value of approximately €50m, even though they have both proved dependable in the Premier League.
With all due respect to his eye-catching figures at Ajax, excelling in the world’s most competitive league is a whole different thing, meaning he’ll have to roll up his sleeves to justify this hype.
Perennial Premier League champions Manchester City will put Kudus’ credentials to the test immediately after September’s international break when they visit the capital.
Moyes’ men have gone from strength to strength at the start of the new campaign, stringing together three consecutive wins since a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on the opening weekend.
Ward-Prowse’s phenomenal start in the Hammers colours has set the benchmark high for Kudus, who will challenge long-serving attacker Michail Antonio for a place in the starting line-up.
The English midfielder has hit the ground running from day one, tallying a goal and three assists from Moyes’ high-flying side.
Considering that age is accountable for determining the market price, Ward-Prowse’s estimated value at €20m may only be influenced by the fact he’s 28.
Otherwise, he would’ve probably been priced at least twice the amount, especially after his phenomenal exploits throughout his early West Ham career.
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