The West Ham United fans in the Transfer Tavern were extremely critical of their midfield in their lacklustre 0-0 draw with Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup. Cheikhou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang started in central midfield but neither could get a foothold on the game. Although they were perhaps tired, West Ham fans have become increasingly frustrated by this sort of performance in the middle of the park.
This is why they want to see a new central midfielder this January. And David Moyes seems to agree. He has been targeting a number of players including Arsenal duo Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin, Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi, Portugal international William Carvalho, Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Allen from Stoke City.
Another name on West Ham’s radar is Harry Arter of Bournemouth. According to reliable journalist Alan Nixon, the Hammers have recently seen a low bid laughed off by the Cherries. But are West Ham looking at the wrong Bournemouth midfielder?
Arter is a competent enough footballer but he has been replaced by Lewis Cook in the Bournemouth line up this season. Cook has started 14 times in the Premier League with a further four outings from the bench and he is really starting to stand out. His displays have been calm and collected for someone so young.
The Hammers should have competed with Bournemouth when the south coast side snapped up the England youth international from Leeds in summer 2016. But now is the time to try to prise him away from Bournemouth and tempt him into joining West Ham.
This may be an attractive prospect for the 20-year-old as he would earn higher wages and be given plenty of first-team opportunities. It also seems like the logical next step in his career while West Ham would benefit from having one of England’s finest young players on their books.