West Ham opinion: Signing Victor Wanyama could be a massive coup
According to The Standard, West Ham have been linked with a shock swoop for Kenyan international midfielder Victor Wanyama, with the report claiming that the Hammers are interested in bringing the Tottenham Hotspur man to East London this summer.
The Standard understands that Manuel Pellegrini’s side are plotting an audacious raid on their London rivals to acquire the services of the hugely experienced 28-year-old on a season-long loan deal.
Wanyama scored once in 22 appearances in all competitions for Spurs this past season and also featured in the Lilywhites’ UEFA Champions League campaign, as Mauricio Pochettino’s men made it all the way through to the finals.
The 28-year-old wasn’t a sure starter for the North Londoners every week due to his struggles with injuries but he did a decent job operating as a pivot deep in the middle of the park in front of the backline.
West Ham’s interest in Wanyama apparently stems from the uncertainty cast over his future at Spurs following the arrival of club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon earlier in the summer.
The 28-year-old former Celtic and Southampton man was one of Pochettino’s trusted lieutenants in the midfield in his first season at the club but the Kenyan’s influence has gradually waned over the years due to recurrent injuries.
Ndombele’s presence is likely to push him down the pecking order ever further, with the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks and youngster Oliver Skipp also vying for a deep midfield role.
Meanwhile, West Ham have already made a strong statement of intent this summer with the club-record acquisition of French striker Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt, whilst Spanish playmaker Pablo Fornals has also arrived from Villarreal.
However, with a couple of weeks left before the deadline in August, the fans at the London Stadium have every reason to anticipate a few more arrivals, as the Hammers prepare to mount a significant challenge for a European spot next season.
As well as recruiting fresh faces like Haller and Fornals to bolster the midfield and attack, the Hammers have also moved on a few players this summer in a bid to clear the deadwood and get rid of the trouble-makers.
The likes of Marko Arnautovic, Lucas Perez, Pedro Obiang, Andy Carroll and Samir Nasri have departed the club to make way for fresh faces.
Having already solved his problems up top with the acquisition of Haller, it is now time for Pellegrini to shift his focus towards adding more steel and substance to his central midfield ranks.
Declan Rice earned plaudits from fans and pundits alike for his impressive run of form in the Premier League this past season.
While Mark Noble produced some fine displays of his own, West Ham need to bring in at least another defensive midfielder to plug the holes following the sale of Edmilson Fernandes and Pedro Obiang.
To put things into perspective, West Ham would hardly get a better option to answer their prayers for a proven Premier Leauge quality defensive midfielder, although the main stumbling block in negotiations could be the age-old rivalry between the two London giants.
Despite his tough-tackling, all-action and robust style of play, Wanyama has proven himself to be somewhat injury-prone over the course of his career in English football, and given that West Ham have also had their fair share of injury problems over the past twelve months or so, bringing the 28-year-old to the London Stadium could be a risky proposition for the Hammers.
However, a loan deal is likely to dampen the risk factor to a considerable extent and West Ham could be set for a wonderful season next term if Wanyama fires on all cylinders alongside Rice in the middle of the park.
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Daunting, hard-working, fearless and aggressive, the Kenyan has got the experience and all the necessary attributes to partner the youngster in the middle of the park.
With that in mind, the Hammers should not hesitate to push for a loan deal to bring the Kenyan to East London before the deadline and this looks like a move that would be in the best interests of all parties involved.