West Ham eyeing January midfielder raid, Chelsea keen to sell

West Ham’s season could be saved by the arrival of Cesc Fabregas on loan in January, according to the Mirror, that is…

What’s the word?

Well, the Mirror claim the Hammers are looking at what they describe as an ‘audacious’ move to snap up Fabregas for the remainder of the season in January, with the east London club’s season quickly heading towards disaster territory.

Their weekend draw at home to Stoke, allied with Hull’s dramatic win over Southampton, leaves Slaven Bilic’s men just one point above the relegation zone, despite there being a feeling that the claret and blue-clad side have somewhat turned the corner in recent weeks with some positive results.

The Mirror, although pretty vague with their details in terms of the extent of Irons’ interest in the Spaniard, allude to fears that Dimitri Payet may leave, which seemingly makes the former Arsenal and Barcelona man an appealing option.

Even more appealing is that Chelsea are willing to subsidise Fabregas’ massive £160,000-per-week contract to move him on this winter – although the extent they’re willing to go remains unknown.

Slaven Bilic

Do West Ham need him?

West Ham are certainly struggling this term. From the glorious highs of 2015/16, the Hammers have fallen low this season, missing out on Europa League qualification with a play-off loss to Astra Giurgiu and huffing and puffing in the league while, off the pitch, the move to the London Stadium has not been the success story many hoped for.

The cold, hard numbers show that West Ham have managed just eleven goals in as many games – the joint-third worst return in the division – and that they’re only 14th in terms of passes played. Their 4,551 is lower than newly promoted Hull and relegation-threatened Swansea.

On both fronts, Fabregas’ arrival would help. Although the 29-year-old is by no means the force he was during his Arsenal, Barcelona and early Chelsea days, he’s still a creative player and provides trademark metronomic passing from a deep role.

Indeed, according to Squawka, in a per-90-minutes sense, the experienced midfielder has outshone Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio and Mark Noble in terms of chance creation, assists, successful passes and forward passes this season:

fabregas-vs-west-ham

Does it make sense for Fabregas?

Logistically and in terms of playing time, yes. A move across London would allow the Spaniard to stay settled in his current environment – which could be a massive factor as he awaits the birth of his third child.

As things stand, Fabregas has started just one Premier League match under Antonio Conte this season, with his other two appearances from the first whistle coming in League Cup action.

With the Blues out of the cup and looking excellent in the Premier League – N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic are bossing the midfield – his route into the team appears cluttered, to say the least.

Further to this, the Mirror also speak of Conte’s desire to sign a physical midfielder such as Geoffrey Kondogbia or Steven N’Zonzi, hinting that Fabregas is not the sort of player the Italian wants and that competition for a starting berth will only intensify in 2017.

Football - Holland v Spain FIFA World Cup Final - South Africa 2010 - Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - 11/7/10 Spain's Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas kiss the World Cup trophy Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Carl Recine Livepic

One major factor could be the Chelsea man’s desire to ‘step down’ to a team like West Ham. Indeed, he may be swayed more by a move back to his homeland, where he might attract interest from a Champions League-chasing side.

There’s even the prospect of a mega-money Chinese switch, with teams from the Far East sure to be attracted to a player of his stature and decorated past. His next contract is likely to be the last big one of his career, meaning a bumper payday in an exotic location cannot be ruled out.

 


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