According to Sky Sports, West Ham are interested in signing Jack Wilshere on a free transfer this summer after the 26-year-old announced he wouldn’t be signing a new contract at Arsenal. New manager Manuel Pellegrini is looking to add to his midfield; however, if the former Manchester City boss is looking at low cost options for that area of his squad, then he should move for Ruben Loftus-Cheek instead.
Publications such as the Telegraph are reporting Chelsea will not sell Loftus-Cheek in the current transfer window, but could be willing to let the England international leave the club on loan.
If Loftus-Cheek, who is valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, is made available for loan once he returns from the World Cup with the England squad, then West Ham need to put themselves at the front of the queue.
In terms of playing style, Loftus-Cheek is very similar to Wilshere. He can dribble through midfield, retains possession well and can get out situations most players would find extremely uncomfortable in pretty easily.
Unlike Wilshere, though, Loftus-Cheek is likely to be a more reliable option throughout the season. Despite picking up a serious back problem while on loan at Crystal Palace in the recently concluded Premier League campaign, the 22-year-old’s track record with injuries is nowhere near as bad as Wilshere’s, while he’s also a much more disciplined footballer than his compatriot.
In fact, Wilshere’s history of injuries is such a concern that, according to the Sun, West Ham are only willing to offer the ex-Arsenal man a one-year contract.
If the Hammers really are interested in pursuing such a short-term deal for Wilshere, then it makes more sense in every aspect to target Loftus-Cheek as an alternative.