West Ham supporters have been drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their team thumped 3-0 at home by Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday to slip closer to the bottom three.
David Moyes’ men went into their clash with the Clarets off the back of successive 4-1 defeats at the hands of Liverpool and Swansea City, results that have certainly dented the optimism among our resident Hammers fans. And things got even worse for the East London outfit on Saturday as a brace from Chris Wood as well as an Ashley Barnes strike secured all three points for Sean Dyche’s side, thus instigating West Ham’s fall to 16th place in the Premier League, just three points clear of danger.
Subsequently, there have been many disappointed and deflated Hammers supporters in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are already looking ahead to their crunch clash with fellow relegation contenders Southampton in little over two weeks’ time.
Yet some of those West Ham fans lining up at the bar are already begging for the summer transfer window to come around, as it gives the club an opportunity to get rid of midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, who is simply not good enough to patrol a Premier League side’s midfield.
And many of our resident Hammers supporters want to see the Senegal international replaced with Swansea City’s Ki Sung-yueng, who is out of contract at the South Wales outfit in the summer (as per Transfermarkt) but has proven his worth in the Premier League in recent times.
Ultimately, 28-year-old Kouyate made the move to East London back in 2014 and has since gone on to make 144 appearances for the Hammers, 29 of which coming in their hugely underwhelming campaign this time round.
And the fact that he has earned 25 Premier League appearances for the club this term underlines the issues the Hammers have in the centre of midfield, as Kouyate has recently been severely under-par, culminating in a poor performance in their defeat to Burnley on Saturday.
Add in a particularly awful display against Swansea a few weeks back, and it’s clear that Moyes’ side are in dire need of midfield reinforcements during the summer. And it was also in that 4-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium in which Hammers fans in the Tavern sourced a potential replacement.
While Kouyate struggled to dominate the midfield and was too often lost possession, his opposite number Ki was outstanding, scoring a fantastic early goal to set Carlos Carvalhal’s side on their way, before patrolling the midfield in the same way West Ham fans are crying out for Kouyate to do.
In fact, in their last two victories over Burnley and then the Hammers, the 29-year-old has made the key difference, both in terms of grabbing the opening goals in both games, which turned out to be the winner in the former, and indeed in terms of running the midfield both in and out of possession.
And that is exactly the sort of quality West Ham are after. With attacking talent like Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic, among others, the East London outfit need someone in the centre of midfield to give them that balance between attack and defence – Ki does just that.
And with his contract up in the summer, and having reportedly been linked with the 29-year-old during January, it’s a no-brainer for Moyes’ side to reignite their interest in the £6.3 million-rated midfield ace (as per Transfermarkt) during the close season in a bid to replace the awful Kouyate.
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