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TT Battle: Pedro Obiang vs Jonjo Shelvey

So far this January at West Ham, most of the talk has been about Marko Arnautovic with the 29-year-old continuing to be linked with a move to China, though Sky Sports reports no Chinese Super League club are yet to meet their valuation. 

But as well as Arnautovic, one other West Ham player who could be heading for the London Stadium exit door this month is Pedro Obiang with the Evening Standard reporting the Hammers will move for Newcastle United’s Jonjo Shelvey should their Spanish midfielder depart.

Pedro Obiang

With Manuel Pellegrini seemingly set on a midfield partnership of Declan Rice and Mark Noble, Obiang has had to settle for a lesser role compared to the two.

Even so, the 26-year-old has been a good servant to the club since joining from Sampdoria back in 2015 and still has much to offer in the middle of the park.

He covers a lot of ground, puts in tackles and can be a threat from long range with his shooting ability.

Considering that, it is not hard to understand the interest in Obiang with Fiorentina just one club looking at the Equatorial Guinea international, having an initial £8.9m bid turned down, as per Sky Sports.

TT Grade: B-

Jonjo Shelvey

Albeit not a like-for-like replacement for Obiang, looking at Shelvey’s attributes compared to West Ham’s current crop of midfielders, you can see why Pellegrini is keen on bringing in the 26-year-old this month.

Shelvey has an exceptional range of passing and always looks to play forward, progressive balls.

The England international is often the one to get Newcastle on the front foot once they win back possession, playing the sort of passes few of his team-mates can see let alone execute to start attacks.

This season, he has had his struggles. But in a more free-flowing and adventurous team like West Ham, he could really thrive by being able to get on the ball more, something he can be prevented from doing in Rafael Benitez’s extremely conservative Newcastle side.

TT Grade: B

TT Verdict:

Obiang and Shelvey are two individuals with a lot of quality who bring different things to the table.

However, if losing the former makes room for the latter to be acquired, then West Ham have to consider accepting the bids that are coming their way.

If the above materialises, Pellegrini, David Gold and David Sullivan could end up playing a blinder.

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