West Ham are set to cause a nasty upset for Arsenal as they emerge as surprise favourites to sign Henry Onyekuru from KAS Eupen

According to a report by Sky Sports, West Ham have edged past competition from Arsenal to become front-runners in signing the Nigerian player.

Onyekuru currently plays for Belgian side KAS Eupen and is understood that he will fly to England on June 12 to hold talks with Premier League clubs interested in him. Arsenal and West Ham are set to go head-to-head in their battle to land the young forward. However, they will be able to sign him only by triggering his £7.85million release clause.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in the Belgian top-flight in 2016-17 and scored 24 goals across competitions for Eupen. His displays have led to several clubs taking note of the youngster but it looks like West Ham are set to sign him.

The youngster has put up promising displays even in the 2015-16 season, netting six times as Eupen fought hard for a promotion to the top tier. The Nigerian starlet recently lost out on the Young Player of the Year award in Belgium as he finished third behind Landry Dimata and Anderlecht’s Youri Tielemans.

Onyekuru is with the Nigeria squad at present as they are preparing for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa.

Contemplating a summer move? (Photo courtesy - Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe is also being targeted by Arsenal for a while now. (Photo courtesy – Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

Signing for Arsenal might sound like a high-profile move for the youngster but he will be able to play more first team football with West Ham. Arsenal are also rumoured to be making a move for AS Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe as Alexis Sanchez is looking likely to leave the club. In a situation like that, Onyekuru will have to end up playing second fiddle.

Meanwhile, West Ham have a list of players they are targeting this summer and names like Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke grace the list. Benteke cost Palace £26.5 million about a year ago, and has scored 17 goals in 40 games across competitions for Palace.

Even if they sign Benteke, Onyekuru will still have better chances at regular first-team football at West Ham because this is a time in his career where he needs to play often to sharpen his skills further. His performances and numbers are more promising than Benteke so he will be guaranteed more playing time with the Hammers.

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