West Ham supporters were pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern over the weekend after seeing their side let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 away at the Premier League’s bottom club Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Slaven Bilic’s men went into their clash with the Eagles off the back of beating Tottenham 3-2 in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, and they looked on course for another important victory when Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew gave them a two-goal lead at the break. However, they were unable to get the job done as a Luke Milivojevic penalty and a 97th minute Wilfried Zaha strike secured a 2-2 draw for Roy Hodgson’s side, although the point, their fourth of the season, wasn’t enough to lift them off the bottom of the table.
Thus, the manner of Saturday’s draw has deeply disappointed several of our resident West Ham fans, and with the club languishing in 16th place in the Premier League and just a point clear of the relegation zone, they will be well aware that improvements are needed and fast if they are to retain their top-flight status come the end of the campaign.
And January could prove to be a pivotal month for the club, and one man they may well be looking to land in the winter window is Galatasaray midfielder Papa Badou Ndiaye, who is also thought to be attracting the interest of Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United.
The 27-year-old only made the move to the Turkish giants during the summer but has so far struggled to make a meaningful impact at the club, having failed to net or lay on an assist in ten Super Lig matches.
And several scouts from England have reportedly been keeping tabs on the midfielder in recent times, and West Ham are one of those believed to have sent some over to monitor Ndiaye’s progress ahead of a possible January move.
And it’s a deal the Hammers must seek to get done ahead of Benitez’s Newcastle, as the East London outfit aren’t blessed with many midfield options, and landing him may give the team a slightly better balance as the season progresses.
Ultimately, West Ham spent big during the summer to land Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic, and alongside the likes of Michail Antonio, Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll, and Manuel Lanzini, they are well-stocked in the attacking department.
And although Ndiaye played much of his football at previous club Osmanlispor in a more attacking role, the Senegal international has often been used in a deeper midfield role this term, and that could be exactly where Bilic seeks to utilise him should he move to West Ham.
Cheikhou Kouyate is arguably much better as a centre-back than in the centre of midfield, which leaves Bilic with Hammers stalwart Mark Noble and Spaniard Pedro Obiang, both of whom have struggled with injury concerns in the last few months.
Thus, there aren’t many options for Bilic to call upon, and if he wants to get the likes of Arnautovic, Antonio, Lanzini and co in the same side, he needs industrious and combative central midfielders to give them the platform to go forward. Ndiaye would help give them that.
His box-to-box mentality and overall dynamism would help give Bilic that balance needed in his team, while he has proved during his stint at Osmalispor that he also possesses quality in the final third, having scored 18 goals and laid on seven assists in 75 games for the club.
Thus, Ndiaye would be a great addition at the London Stadium, and as such the Hammers must fend off Newcastle to land the £6.3 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) in the January window.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!