Premier League

Exactly what’s needed: West Ham would solve their midfield issues by land £31.5m-rated star

West Ham supporters have been relatively satisfied in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team take another step closer to Premier League survival courtesy of a 1-1 draw at home to second-bottom Stoke City on Monday.

David Moyes’ men picked up four points from their two games prior to the visit of the struggling Potters on Monday, with a victory over Southampton and a draw at Chelsea helping the Hammers in their bid to avoid relegation. Yet their good work in those matches looked set to be undone when Peter Crouch gave Paul Lambert’s Stoke the lead at the London Stadium, only for an excellent Andy Carroll equaliser to preserve a point for the hosts, thus moving them seven points clear of danger prior to Southampton’s 0-0 draw with Leicester City on Thursday.

Subsequently, there have been many content Hammers supporters in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are confident that their side will indeed avoid the drop this term, what with their club six points clear with just five games to play.

In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident West Ham fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that Arsenal are considering getting rid of midfielder Granit Xhaka this summer.

And Moyes’ Hammers should be at the front of the queue for the £31.5 million-rated star’s signature (as per Transfermarkt), as he appears to be exactly what’s needed to solve their evident midfield issues.

Ultimately, the East London club have struggled in the central midfield department this season, with Cheikhou Kouyate more often than not out of form, and Pedro Obiang more often than not on the sidelines due to injury.

Yes, Mark Noble has again been consistent in the middle of the park and deserves credit for that, but at the age of 30, he’s not going to be the man to take the Hammers forward and to the next level in their new stadium.

And with the sheer amount of attacking talent at Moyes’ disposal, the Hammers simply have to get the midfield dynamic and balance right heading into the new season, and while Xhaka hasn’t always convinced at Arsenal, he could be the ideal man for West Ham.

The 25-year-old made the move to the Emirates Stadium back in 2016 and appeared 32 times for the Gunners in the Premier League last term, from which he has added 33 this time round to underline his importance to Arsene Wenger’s side.

That itself is indicative of the trust Wenger has in the Switzerland international, with it seeming that he has most of the traits needed to be a fine central midfielder in the Premier League, he is just lacking the consistency.

But in a Hammers team with the tenacious Noble and industrious Kouyate and Obiang, Xhaka could flourish, with five assists in the league this season also emphasising his ability on the ball, which is sure to be of interest to the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez in the attacking third of the pitch.

Yes, Xhaka hasn’t excelled at Arsenal, but it’s clear that he does have the ability to be an adept midfielder at Premier League level. And a move to West Ham this summer could see him hone in on those talents.

West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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