West Ham are going to regret not signing Pastore – agreed?
There is a lot of expectation from West Ham after the arrival of their new manager Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean is a Premier League winner with Manchester City and plays a very attractive brand of football. Pellegrini’s vast experience and knowledge of the game will certainly influence the Hammers to perform better and aim higher next season.
West Ham finished 13th in the Premier League last season and conceded a total of 68 goals, the joint-highest in the division along with Stoke City, who were relegated. So, Pellegrini should prioritise the defensive problems above anything else. However, the London club need to strenghten other areas as well.
West Ham were linked with Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore and it seemed as though a deal was set in place. But the Argentinian ultimately joined Italian outfit Roma in a deal worth £21.8m. Pastore could have been a great signing for West Ham as his experience and intelligence in the middle of the park is unrivalled.
Pastore joined PSG from Italian club Palermo in 2011 and scored 45 goals in 265 appearances for the Ligue 1 champions.
But Pastore struggled for game time last season as he played just 14 matches in Ligue 1, scoring 4 goals and providing 5 assists.
The 29-year-old is technically gifted and has an eye for goal. He has a brilliant footballing mind and is capable of waltzing past players with his dribbling ability. The Argentine is excellent at circulating the ball from midfield as he averaged a pass success rate of 82.3% in Ligue 1 last season.
The likes of Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic would have thrived in the presence of Pastore behind them. He would have seamlessly fit into the attacking role behind the strikers at the London Stadium.
Arnautovic is brilliant at timing his runs, and with Pastore in the team, the Austrian would have received a lot more goalscoring chances regularly. West Ham were heavily reliant on Arnautovic to produce the goods last season and the club need to make some quality signings in the summer to ease some pressure off his shoulders.
West Ham will be without Manuel Lanzini for the whole of next season, with the playmaker suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury while on international duty with Argentina just before the World Cup.
Pastore would have been the perfect like-for-like replacement for Lanzini. The Argentine may not have the speed and set-piece ability which Lanzini possesses but in terms of creating chances and splitting open defenses, Pastore would probably trump his compatriot. And West Ham might regret not signing him.