The toxic cloud which loomed over the London Stadium last season has been well and truly lifted this summer by the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini and an outlandish spending spree, but things could yet get better for the Hammers supporters.
West Ham have been transformed from a club tarnished by internal problems and a fractured relationship between the supporters and the owners, to a harmonious one with plenty of optimism for the season ahead.
Pellegrini has wasted no time in stamping his own personal mark on the club by bringing in 7 new players for a combined cost of £85.5 million, but so far he has brought just one new central midfielder to the club, namely Jack Wilshere.
Wilshere’s arrival was certainly well needed considering west Ham’s glaring lack of options in central midfield last season and, with that to consider, Pellegrini should considering signing at least one more central player to bolster his options this summer.
And according to Sky Sports (via talkSPORT) that’s exactly what he is planning on doing now that Pedro Obiang is in talks with Sampdoria over a proposed £8.9 million deal.
The same report claims that Pellegrini will now target Mario Lemina as a replacement for Obiang, and if that indeed proves to be the case there’s no doubt that the Chilean would be set to complete another fantastic deal.
Southampton’s tricky defensive midfield talent arrived at the club from Juventus last summer after failing to work his way into the first-team of the Serie A giants, but he did manage to make a total of 29 appearances for the club across 2 title-winning campaigns.
The fact he was able to feature in Juventus’ first-team at all speaks volumes about the level of his potential, and he was able to showcase his ability in sporadic bursts throughout his debut season in the Premier League.
Like the rest of Southampton’s squad, Lemina lacked consistency last season, but there was enough quality on show to suggest he can thrive in English football.
With incredible technical quality, a willingness to carry the ball forward and a strong defensive shield to offer the back-four, there’s no doubt that Lemina would represent a huge upgrade on the options available to Pellegrini in that position, so he must do everything in his power to conclude a deal for the Saints’ crown jewel before the window slams shut.
West Ham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!