Why West Ham should go all out for John Fleck in the summer of 2020
West Ham United were heavily linked with a move for Sheffield United’s John Fleck during the January transfer window, but a move didn’t go through.
John Fleck, 28, played a crucial role in getting Sheffield United promoted to the Premier League earlier this year. He had formed a formidable partnership with Oliver Norwood in the middle of the park in the Championship last season.
Now in the Premier League, the midfielder continues to flourish and put in a Man of the Match display against Liverpool less than two weeks’ ago.
His solid performances earned him a call up to the national team and while Fleck’s long-awaited Scotland debut against Russia was arguably a game to forget as the Scots lost 4-0, the midfielder cannot be entirely blamed for the mediocre display as he was surrounded by average players.
As far as West Ham are concerned, Manuel Pellegrini appeared determined to strengthen his midfield during the summer transfer window.
In the end, the Hammers ended up signing Pablo Fornals from Villarreal. Fornals, a creative, skilful playmaker was considered somewhat of a coup, but the Spaniard hasn’t set the world alight in the Premier League so far.
West Ham were in dire need of a box-to-box midfielder with high energy who could play alongside Declan Rice, who has been immense so far this season.
Rice is one of Pellegrini’s first names on the team sheet and is also establishing himself in the national team. Expectations are high from Jack Wilshere but he just hasn’t clicked at the club, while Carlos Sanchez should be one of the Hammers’ worst signings.
Despite turning 32, Mark Noble is going strong at the moment and has been preferred over Wilshere and Sanchez in central midfield. But the skipper cannot continue for long due to his advancing years and must be replaced sooner rather than later.
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John Fleck would be a good fit at the London Stadium. He primarily operates as a central midfielder and can be a commanding presence at the centre of the park.
Fleck’s dogged determination, energy and excellent work rate would provide the Hammers’ defence more protection. The 28-year-old is a tidy passer of the ball, tenacious in the tackle and would be the perfect partner for Rice in the engine room.
At 28, the Scotsman is operating at his peak and could make an immediate impact at West Ham. Thus, the Hammers should go for Fleck next summer, regardless of Sheffield United beating the drop or not at the end of this season.