New West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has wasted no time diving into the market for new additions but there is still room for improvement in his squad.
The Hammers have already signed Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop and Jack Wilshere, while deals for Lazio’s Felipe Anderson, Borussia Dortmund’s Andriy Yarmolenko and Corinthians’ Fabian Balbeuna are poised to go ahead – leaving West Ham with an exciting XI for the 2018-19 season.
However, Pellegrini’s deals have focused around rejuvenating his defensive line and providing attacking support for Hammer of the Year Marko Arnautovic, largely ignoring a major problem area at the heart of midfield.
While Wilshere’s arrival should ease the concerns surrounding Manuel Lanzini’s long-term injury absence, West Ham need a combative midfielder to play in a holding role to protect a defence that conceded a league-high 58 goals last season.
French outlet Le10Sport suggests West Ham have found their man in the form of Steven N’Zonzi, stating the Hammers are fighting London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham for the services of the World Cup finalist, who came off the bench for France in the 1-0 semi-final victory over Belgium.
“A team is not only stars, he has no genius but he is effective in his role.”
With a mammoth release clause of £35 million, 29-year-old N’Zonzi would be an expensive recruit for Pellegrini’s side but he is the sort of player that West Ham have been crying out for in recent years – and securing a deal would erase the memories of the embarrassing saga surrounding Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho last summer.
While West Ham’s activity in the market so far has been impressive, and the other additions on the horizon will catch the eye, the Hammers need to make a major statement of intent as they seek to climb the Premier League rankings next term.
Beating Arsenal and Tottenham, who can both offer European football, to the services of N’Zonzi would do exactly that, so it is time for West Ham to go all-out in pursuit of the former Blackburn and Stoke man.