According to claims from Paraguayan outlet ABC, West Ham were interested in completing a move for Paraguayan international defender Gustavo Gomez in the summer but the Hammers fell short in their pursuit of the centre-back.
Gomez, who currently plies his trade with Palmeiras in the Brazilian top-flight, was the subject of an €18 million offer from West Ham but the Brazilian giants were unwilling to part ways with their standout performer midway through the campaign for that amount. (h/t ABC)
West Ham went on to make the headlines in the summer with big-money deals for attacking duo, Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals, while 18-year-old centre-back Goncalo Cardoso was brought in as a long-term prospect from Portuguese outfit Boavista.
The East Londoners went all out with their transfer kitty to bolster their attack but the window passed by without Manuel Pellegrini managing to recruit fresh faces in other areas of the pitch, most notably in central midfield and at the back, where the Hammers could certainly have done with a bit more depth.
Meanwhile, West Ham have made a reasonable start to their Premier League campaign this term and barring a few slip-ups, Pellegrini should be reasonably happy with what he has seen from his players thus far.
However, if the first couple of months are anything to go by, the Hammers look far too reliant on their well-oiled attacking unit.
With veteran Mark Noble and academy star Declan Rice the only reliable names in central midfield, a new energetic box-to-box midfielder should be a top priority for the Hammers in January, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Pellegrini chooses to bring in another centre-back to add depth to his defensive ranks.
The pairing of Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna has done pretty well for West Ham at the heart of the defence this term but Pellegrini doesn’t have too many other options, with Fabian Balbuena the only other choice.
Winston Reid hasn’t played for ages and, with Ogbonna also nearing the autumn of his career at 31, bolstering the backline with some fresh blood would definitely be a shrewd piece of business as far as the club’s long-term plans are concerned.
To that end, West Ham making a renewed attempt to sign Gustavo Gomez would certainly make a lot of sense. A compatriot of Balbuena in the Paraguayan international setup, the 26-year-old is about to enter his prime years as a centre-back very soon and he could well be a handsome addition to the squad.
Gustavo Gomez emerged with Libertad in his homeland and rose to prominence with Lanus in Argentina before making a move to Europe with Italian heavyweights AC Milan in 2016. However, an ill-fated spell at the San Siro saw him make only 20 appearances over two seasons before being loaned out to Palmeiras in Brazil.
The 33-cap Paraguayan international eventually made his stay at Palmeiras permanent and was instrumental in the club’s triumphant campaign in the Brazilian Serie A the last term.
Gomez has put all his disappointment behind him following a move back to his own continent but, with West Ham ready to lure him back to Europe, the 26-year-old certainly has a big decision to make.
A physically-commanding centre-back who is also very strong in the air, Gomez is not only adept at thwarting the opposition with his fearless tackling and sound game-reading abilities but he also has the technical skills on the ball to build attacks from the back, something that is likely to make him a good fit for Pellegrini’s system at West Ham.
West Ham might just have to re-evaluate their offer in order to tempt Palmeiras into selling Gustavo Gomez but the Paraguayan might be well worth the outlay if the Hammers do manage to get a deal over the line in January.
All in all, the 26-year-old certainly looks good enough to make the jump to the Premier League and West Ham should not hesitate to come knocking on the door for his services once again during the mid-season trading period.
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