If reports in the Daily Mail are anything to go by, then Premier League side West Ham are preparing to launch a £25million bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.
The 25-year-old has been a target for a number of Premier League clubs already this summer, with reports from Portuguese outlet Record claiming that rivals Arsenal have also shown interest in him.
And, despite having a reported release clause of £39.5 million that Sporting Lisbon are likely to remain firm on, the Hammers believe they could negotiate a move for the Portuguese international.
What could Carvalho bring to the London Stadium?
Perhaps more than anything, Carvalho is such a calming presence in that defensive midfielder position on the pitch and he could really bring a much-needed element of composure to West Ham.
The likes of Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate, generally the chosen midfield duo by boss Slaven Bilic for the majority of last season, have struggled to impose themselves in a deep midfield role and have often provided inadequate defensive cover as West Ham conceded 64 goals last time out.
This tally was worse than the likes of relegated Middlesbrough, Burnley and Crystal Palace – all sides that came below the Hammers – and if they want to push for a top-half finish they need to stop leaking goals.
This is where Carvalho could arrive and thrive in the Premier League, with his physical presence – standing at six-feet and three-inches – making him an intimidating and tall figure to come up against.
Whereas Noble struggles with his recovery play when caught out of position, being left behind and often resorting to cynical fouls, the Portuguese midfielder possesses an excellent natural ability to be in the right place at the right time and anticipate the danger before it almost becomes too late.
He is not the quickest but he makes up for it with good tactical play and an intelligent footballing brain with the ability to read the game, and his ability to distribute the ball would be a very useful asset.
At 25 years of age, there is still plenty of time for Carvalho to develop into the world-class player that he’s always been touted for, and there’s little doubt that he could help the Hammers press forward this year.