Profile of West Ham transfer target Michy Batshuayi of Marseille
By Jack Atchinson
Last Updated: 28/06/16 11:58am
West Ham have made a €35m bid for Marseille's Michy Batshuayi, according to Sky sources, but who is the Belgian striker?
Batshuayi is currently with the Belgium squad at Euro 2016 and has attracted interest from several top clubs in Europe after it was confirmed he will leave Marseille this summer, with West Ham thought to be leading the race.
Here we profile the Belgian, who has netted 22 goals this season...
Name: Michy Batshuayi
West Ham make Batshuayi bid
West Ham have made a €35m bid for Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi, according to Sky sources.
Place of birth: Brussels, Belgium
Nicknamed "Batsman", Batshuayi is of Congolese origin, but was born and raised in Brussels.
He struggled to settle at clubs in the early part of his career before making his first-team debut at Standard Liege aged 18.
An impressive 39 goals in 97 Belgian Pro League games followed during a three-year spell, including 21 in his final season.
His impressive form earned him a £4.5m to Marseille in July 2014 and he has not looked back. In his 49 appearances this season, he has scored 22 goals and registered nine assists across all competitions.
He has 17 goals in Ligue 1 this term, making him the fourth-top scorer.
Batshuayi's stats are even more impressive because he has been playing in a struggling team this season.
If clubs want him then they are going to have to pay around €50m.
Marseille President Vincent Labrune
This form attracted the attention of Belgium boss Marc Wilmots and Batshuayi scored on his international debut in March last year against Cyprus and was been named in his country's Euro 2016 squad, but he is yet to appear.
Style of play
Batshuayi's deadly finishing is attracting interest. He can use both feet and his dribbling ability has left defences all over France in tatters.
He may be only 5ft 11in, but he possesses the upper-body strength to win physical battles with centre-halves.
His style has drawn comparisons with another Stade Velodrome favourite - Didier Drogba.
The Belgian ghosts in behind unsuspecting backlines and his ability to bring others into play makes him the ideal focal point up top.
One perceived weakness could be his lack of experience at the top level. He has had only one season as Marseille's first-choice striker so may find the rough and tumble of the Premier League too much to handle.
He has never played in the Champions League, but it appears he has the tools to play at that level as long as he stays hungry to learn and improve.
What he says
"SpongeBob is a cartoon I love. Especially when I'm in bed by myself at home and I have trouble sleeping, my reflex is to put cartoons on. I took to SpongeBob and started watching it frequently. Even when I'm older, I think I'll still watch the show."
"Whether in Europe or not, it will not change. I began my story with Marsellie and I find that my story with Marseille is still far from over."
What they say
Marseille president Vincent Labrune: "There is not a single top-15 world club that is not interested in Batshuayi. He is one of the most wanted players on the market.
"There were a lot of offers for him this summer, but he didn't want to leave. He's proving himself on the pitch, and if clubs want him then they are going to have to pay around €50m."
Former team-mate Florian Thauvin: "He has a very good state of mind, he is respectful and works hard. It's not easy to not get excited, and I find it really cool, and it shows a strong personality."
And, most importantly, how do you pronounce his name?
Repeat after me... Mi-shee Bat-sh-wah-yee.