West Ham United have embarked on an extravagant spending spree this summer which has put the club in a fantastic position to challenge for Europa League football in the new season, but yet they remain relatively short of options in central midfield.
Manuel Pellegrini managed to secure the signature of Jack Wilshere on a shrewd free transfer earlier in the transfer window, but after the sale of Cheikhou Kouyate to Crystal Palace it seems he will need to bring in one more central midfielder to ensure his squad is well-stocked for the season ahead. And according to a recent report from the Spanish media outlet Sport-English, that’s exactly what he is planning to do.
The report claims that the Hammers are interested in signing Andre Gomes before Thursday’s 5pm deadline and the player himself is negotiating his exit from the club. Gomes’ career has taken a rather sobering downturn since he moved to the Nou Camp two years ago, so a fresh challenge in the Premier League should prove to be in his best interests.
Although Gomes’ future at Barcelona has been hanging in the balance for quite some time, the recent arrivals of both Arturo Vidal and Arthur served to further intensify reports linking him with a move away from the club. And a recent report from The Daily Mail seems to represent the final nail in the coffin, as Barcelona have reportedly come to an agreement with Paul Pogba over a contract worth a whopping £89.5 million over the course of 5 years.
The arrival of Pogba at Barcelona will increase the intensity of competition for first-team places to a level which Gomes simply cannot compete with, so the coast is certainly clear for West Ham to bring the deep-lying playmaker into the club. Adding the financial drain of Pogba’s deal to the equation certainly puts Barcelona in a position where they need to sell a handful of players in order to ensure they remain within the parameters of FFP.
With these points to consider, Manuel Pellegrini should be prioritising the signature of Gomes over all other negotiations in the final hours of the transfer window, as his lack of depth in midfield represents a genuine problem for the club ahead of the new season. Jack Wilshere and Mark Noble will presumably be the first-choice midfield partnership with Edimilson Fernandes and Pedro Obiang providing backup, but neither Fernandes or Obiang are of the level in which the club are striving to reach on the evidence of their summer recruitment drive.
Declan Rice will also be available to play in a holding midfield role, but the addition of another creative midfielder would certainly represent the icing on the cake for the Irons at the end of a transformative summer window. It’s absolutely vital that a new central midfield player arrives at the London Stadium before the window slams shut, and Pogba’s proposed switch to Barcelona might just prove to be the difference between success and failure in their pursuit of Gomes.
West Ham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!