3 defensive midfielders West Ham should target in January

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After a calamitous 5-0 defeat at the hands of reigning champions Man City on the opening day of the season, West Ham managed to get their campaign back on track with a couple of impressive victories over Watford and Norwich City before heading into the first international break of the season. 

The Hammers currently sit 7th in the standings with 7 points from their first 4 league games and Manuel Pellegrini will be looking to capitalise on a decent start to the campaign, as the East Londoners look to challenge for a European spot this season. 

As evident from their performance in the transfer market, West Ham have made a strong statement of intent with back-to-back summers of heavy investment that they are ready to push on and go toe-to-toe with the big guns in the Premier League under the stewardship of Pellegrini. 

Indeed, they once again grabbed the headlines this summer with big-money deals for Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals. However, central midfield is one area where the Hammers failed to strengthen, despite being linked with a whole lot of players in that position over the transfer window. 

If the first four games are anything to go by, the lack of depth in central midfield might come back to haunt the Hammers later in the season, with Pellegrini already struggling to cope with his limited options.  

Influential youngster Declan Rice continues to be a key figure along with veteran fan-favourite Mark Noble but with Pedro Obiang now gone, Jack Wilshere often out with injuries and 33-year-old Carlos Sanchez nearing the end of his contract, West Ham desperately need to bring in a new defensive midfielder in January. 

With that in mind, here are some football tips for Spurs to pick out a defensive midfielder in January:-

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1. Victor Wanyama 

The 28-year-old Kenyan international was heavily linked with a loan move to West Ham earlier this summer but a deal failed to materialize before the deadline. (h/t Express)

Well, the rivalry between the two London giants isn’t going to make things any simpler but the Hammers should reconsider going back in the market for the out-of-favour star, given his energy, stamina, tough-tackling style of play and wealth of experience in the Premier League. 

Indeed, Wanyama’s influence has somewhat waned over the past couple of years due to injuries and, while West Ham will be careful not to compound their own problems, a potential loan deal for the former Celtic man would add much-needed depth in a crucial area of the pitch for Pellegrini. 

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2. Erick Pulgar

The 25-year-old Chilean enforcer was reportedly on West Ham’s radar this summer before he eventually completed a move to Fiorentina from fellow Serie A outfit Bologna. 

Having failed to firm up their interest in the talented midfielder a few months back, West Ham are probably going to have to splash out a bigger sum of money if they choose to reignite their interest in the Chilean international in January but Pellegrini’s union with his compatriot might help the Hammers sort out a nagging issue in the midfield. 

Essentially a defensive midfielder by trade, Pulgar is noted for his strength, tenacity, drive, determination, ability to win possession back for his team and carry the ball forward with intent, whilst also possessing a keen eye for through balls from a deep position in the midfield. 

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3. Franck Kessie

Along with a host of other Premier League clubs, West Ham were linked repeatedly with a summer swoop for AC Milan’s Ivorian international midfielder Franck Kessie (h/t Daily Mail) and the Hammers should weigh up the option to going back in the market for the 22-year-old’s services in January. 

The strong and powerful central midfielder, who has a good blend of defensive and attacking attributes in his game, is widely regarded as one of the most promising players in his position and, with his best days still very much ahead of him, the Ivorian certainly seems to fit the bill at the London Stadium. 

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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