West Ham secured their first Premier League win against Newcastle since 2015 at the weekend.
Both sides were languishing in mid-table following a poor start to the season, but it was Manuel Pellegrini’s men who emerged victoriously. Javier Hernandez opened the scoring after just 11 minutes, and the Mexican bagged his brace just after the hour mark. Man of the match Felipe Anderson confirmed the victory in injury time to move the Hammers three points clear of the Magpies.
Pellegrini will be pleased to see his most significant summer addition run the game against Rafael Benitez’s men – Anderson was a constant threat on the left wing. West Ham strengthened heavily during the summer, and more investment is needed in January to continue their ascent up the table. With many players on the treatment table, a new defensive midfielder should be targeted.
One man who should be on Pellegrini’s shortlist is Stuttgart lynchpin – Santiago Ascacibar. Valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, the Argentine has developed into a crucial player for the Bundesliga side since joining from Estudiantes last summer. The 21-year-old made 29 appearances in Germany last year and has started all 13 games of the season so far.
Similar to former Hammer Javier Mascherano, Ascacibar is a tough tackling defensive midfielder who would add another layer of protection to Pellegrini’s defence. The youngster has averaged an incredible 2.7 tackles, and 1.8 interceptions per game in Germany – no West Ham midfielder has averaged more this season (WhoScored). Ascacibar’s impressive performances have not gone unnoticed as the midfielder recently earned a call-up to the senior Argentina national team.
Ascarcibar has the potential to develop into one of the Premier League’s finest midfielders – West Ham should do all they can to bring him to the London Stadium in January.
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