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Rafa Silva could be Upton Park-bound as West Ham ship out Zarate

| 30.12.2014

On the same day that Sam Allardyce confirms that he expects Mauro Zarate to end the season on loan at QPR, West Ham are reportedly eyeing up a loan deal of their own, with Braga midfielder Rafa Silva rumoured to be en route to east London for the rest of the campaign.

While getting rid of one player who is rarely given a chance to shine and signing one in a similar mould may seem a strange move, it might not be Zarate’s playing ability that has seen him shown the door.

There had been rumours that the Argentine had fallen out with the Hammers boss behind the scenes, going some way to explain his potential exit.

So who is the man likely to come in a replace him?

Rafa Silva has been a mainstay in the Braga side that currently third in the Liga Sagres, and has been making a name for himself in his homeland.

With plenty of skills and tricks in the bag, he could be a handful for Premier League defences and has the pace and passing ability to slice through opposition back-lines.

A deal to the end of the season, with an option to make it permanent at the conclusion of the campaign is apparently in the offing, and it could be a shrewd bit of business for the Upton Park side.

He made his breakthrough into the Portuguese senior side towards the start of 2014, and was a member of their World Cup squad in Brazil, although he failed to make an appearance when Paulo Bento’s side suffered an early exit.

At 21-years-old there is probably plenty of improvement left from the creative midfielder, and could be one for the future for a side who look like they are on the up.

First though, the Hammers will have to halt a two game slide that has seen them taste defeat to both Chelsea and Arsenal.

A visit of West Brom on New Year’s Day is next up, as the Irons look to maintain their challenge on the top six, and outrun their odds of 4/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.