Mohammed Kudus (£6.5m) completed his move to West Ham United on Sunday, in a deal worth at least £38m.
The attacking midfielder joins after impressing at Ajax last term, where he scored 18 goals and assisted six in all competitions.
Kudus is David Moyes’ fourth signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Edson Alvarez (£5.0m), James Ward-Prowse (£6.0m) and Konstantinos Mavropanos (£4.5m).
The Hammers have started the season strongly and visit newcomers Luton Town next, but is Kudus worth buying in Fantasy Premier League (FPL)?
We investigate in this Scout Report.
“I’m delighted we’ve been able to bring Mohammed to West Ham United. He’s a terrific young talent, who has already shone at the very highest level for Ajax in the Champions League and made well over 150 senior appearances at the age of 23 – so it was no surprise to see so many top clubs chasing his signature this summer. The fact we’ve been able to attract a player of his undoubted quality to the London Stadium shows the pull West Ham have now – the Board and Tim deserve huge credit for getting this one over the line.” – David Moyes
“I’ve been dreaming to play in a league like this since I was a kid. But it doesn’t stop here, I want to keep going. I try my best to entertain the fans as I think that’s what football is all about.” – Mohammed Kudus
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Kudus started his professional career at Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in 2018, before joining Ajax to play under then-manager Erik ten Hag in 2020, where he scored 27 goals in 87 appearances across all competitions.
In 2022/23, he found the net 18 times and provided six assists in 42 matches, with memorable goals against Liverpool, Napoli and Rangers in the UEFA Champions League.
For Ghana, Kudus has scored seven goals in 24 appearances and started all three matches for his country at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring twice in the 3-2 win over South Korea.
“I like to entertain the fans as I think that is what football is about, and my dribbling ability, strength and finishing also. I’m just here to do my best to help the team. The fans should expect some entertainment!” – Mohammed Kudus
Kudus is a versatile attacker capable of playing anywhere across the midfield or frontline.
Predominantly left-footed, he was largely deployed on the right wing or up front under John Heitinga at Ajax, but predecessor Erik ten Hag preferred to use him centrally, either as a no. 10 or no. 8.
Interestingly, that’s where Kudus sees his best position:
“Of course, we all know my versatility for the past years, but I think the position I’ve played most spots from my actions are from the central areas, but it’s the team that’s above everyone else so the position the coach feels is best for me to help the team, of course, I will give my 100% best. Everything that I’ve played in did my best is from like, an attacking position, from the midfield.” – Mohammed Kudus
Kudus is not that tall (5ft 9in) but he is a strong and speedy dribbler: he completed 4.6 dribbles per 90 minutes (p90) in the Eredivisie last season, more than any other player.
It’s also worth noting when carrying the ball, he often draws fouls, which could be good news for free-kick specialist Ward-Prowse.
“Yeah, I think it has always been one of my qualities and I think it started from my childhood club in Ghana, Strong Tower. The coach there gave me the freedom as I was young then and it wasn’t really about the results. It was just playing for the passion and for fun, so he just gave me the role to just any time I got the ball, to just try and take on as many men as I can.
Naturally, I’ve been built with this low centre of gravity to the ground, so it’s easy for me to turn around. I’ve worked on that in the gym as well, since I’ve seen that is my strength, so I just keep building on it and that’s the biggest things that helped me with my dribbling.” – Mohammed Kudus on dribbling
In the 2022/23 Eredivisie season, Kudus averaged 3.5 shots p90 and recorded the seventh-highest expected goals (xG) p90 (0.58).
For context, neither of those figures were beaten by any player at West Ham last year, with the obvious caveat that the Eredivise is a much weaker competition.
As a creator, he recorded 1.5 created chances p90.
THE FPL PROSPECTS
West Ham have got off to a decent start in the Premier League and could give Kudus his debut at Luton Town in Gameweek 4.
They’ll fancy their chances, too, against a team that has conceded seven goals in two matches so far.
However, given the Hammers’ impressive 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend, it’s unlikely Moyes will want to make too many changes to his starting XI, so a place on the bench/minutes in the second half, perhaps feel more likely for Kudus.
Given that West Ham face Manchester City and Liverpool after the international break, a better time to consider him might be Gameweeks 7 or 10 when their fixtures start to ease.
By that point, we’ll know more about where Moyes plans to use Kudus, which is key.
With Lucas Paqueta (£6.0m) being investigated by the Football Association over potential betting breaches, he could be deployed as a no. 10, which would carry real potential in FPL.
He could even occasionally step in as a false nine, offering some respite for Michail Antonio (£6.0m).
Is he a better option than current West Ham midfielders Jarrod Bowen (£7.0m) and Ward-Prowse? Time will tell, but having scored 18 times for Ajax last season, he merits attention.