If West Ham United can add a midfielder with an attacking dimension to their game, there is every chance that they can compete for a European spot in the Premier League next season.
The Hammers currently lack an individual in the centre of the park who can ping the ball into the forward areas and provide their attack with the creativity needed to find the back of the net on a regular basis – although the strikers are not at the level of quality needed.
As the summer draws on, the transfer rumour mill is likely to continue to throw out a number of names at us regarding who Manuel Pellegrini could look to bring to the London Stadium over the coming months and two interesting names have already been thrown into the ring.
Andre Gomes and Kostas Fortounis are two individuals that have had their name circulated in the media recently with bids allegedly having been rejected. But, if West Ham were only able to bring one man to the capital, who should it be?
Well, that’s where our famous ‘Transfer Battles’ come into play. So let’s take a magnifying glass and examine what each player can bring to the table and look to come up with an outcome for Pellegrini.
Sky Sports recently claimed that West Ham had an offer of around £18million for Gomes turned down by Barcelona earlier this week and let’s face it, it is hardly surprising! That was never going to be enough, was it! Especially after the season he had with Everton.
Whilst on loan with the Toffees, the 26-year-old has been nothing but impressive and appears to have found his feet in the Premier League after a disappointing spell with the La Liga giants. The Portuguese midfielder became a crucial component of Marco Silva’s side and it is hardly shocking to see a club like the Hammers try to pouch him.
It would be quite easy to see Gomes excel in the Claret and Blue of the Irons as he is a classy midfielder that would fit straight into Pellegrini’s side. He has the quality and the classy style of play to help the London Stadium tick and would certainly have to be considered an upgrade on the players currently in his position.
He has the passing range that nobody else in the side currently have in their locker, whilst he is not shy when going forward and can contribute with moments of magic. Another thing that he possesses in abundance that a vast majority of the squad currently do not is the experience of playing at a high level and being rather successful.
TT Grade: A-
According to Greek media publication SDNA, West Ham will have to pay Olympiakos £13m in order to sign the 26-year-old after Sport24 claimed last week that the Hammers had a bid of £8.8m turned down. But, when taking a closer look at what the Greek international can bring to the table, the Irons should be looking to pay the £13m demanded.
Firstly, he provided the Athens-based outfit with 17 goals and 16 assists in his 43 matches across all competitions (Transfermarkt), figures that are hugely impressive regardless of what level an individual is playing football at. Those stats would put any player in Pellegrini’s current line-up to shame and by having him in the side, their goal threat should realistically improve ten-fold.
The 26-year-old has the ability to dictate the play going forward and would be the type of player that West Ham need at the London Stadium to complete their midfield. He would be able to provide the likes of Manuel Lanzini with some much-needed competition, whilst he also has the quality of being a potential match winner for the Irons.
With Pellegrini expected to have a rather limited transfer budget (Football.London), spending just £13m on a player of Fortounis’ quality would have to be considered a steal – just ask Mario Husillos as he worked with him during his time at Olympiakos.
TT Grade: A
Both players are exceptional talents and are incredibly gifted midfielders, however, West Ham should be looking at signing Fortounis this summer rather than Gomes.
As stated, the Greece international has all the ability available to him to become a hit at the London Stadium and can provide the Hammers with the creative outlet that they have been desperate for, whilst £13m would hardly be considered breaking the bank – even with their limited budget!
Gomes may be a player who can provide the club with Premier League experience and the assurance of knowing what you will get for him, however, whether the Irons will be able to give Barcelona the transfer fee they want for him whilst also having to spend to improve other areas of the squad remains to be seen.
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