An interesting nugget of information was revealed by the Chronicle last night, claiming Genk striker Mbwana Samatta is actually a long term target of Steve Bruce’s.
The BBC ran a story a few days ago that the prolific Tanzanian striker was a target for ourselves, Crystal Palace and West Ham in January, but the Chronicle now claim Bruce tried to sign him during his time at Sheffield Wednesday.
Samatta is an interesting proposition, as he’s been in sensational form over the last calendar year at Genk. He hit 32 goals last season as he captained Genk to the league title, with 9 of them coming in the Europa League.
He’s also started this season in similar form, and already has 8 goals this term including Champions League strikes against Liverpool and Red Bull Salzburg.
Given that his release clause is believed to be a paltry £10m, it seems exactly the kind of deal that would entice Mike Ashley.
It’s reported Bruce was actually asking people he trusts in the game to give him a “second opinion” on the striker at the turn of the year, but given Samatta’s breathtaking form in Belgium in what was a breakthrough year for the Tanzanian captain ,and added to the fact Sheffield Wednesday are currently half way through the second year of a “soft” transfer embargo for failing to hand in their 2017-18 accounts on time, a move for him became very unlikely.
Bruce could be shaping up to finally get his man this January, however. Certainly the BBC aren’t known for sensationalist transfer stories so maybe this one has legs.
While it’s a big step up in quality from the Belgian Juplier League to the Premier League, his strike rate, along with his record in European competition, could mean the 26 year old is worth a punt.