Badelj ticked plenty of boxes for West Ham and missing out on him is a blow

As reported by Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb, Milan Badelj has rejected the chance to join West Ham United this summer, despite a lucrative offer from the Hammers.

What’s the story?

The arrival of Manuel Pellegrini means a new era is dawning at the London Stadium and fans are curious about what kind of team they will see on the pitch next season.

One player that was apparently on their radar was midfielder Milan Badelj, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.

They report that both West Ham and Aston Villa made lucrative offers to the Fiorentina midfielder to ditch Italian football and make the move to England, but the player has rejected both.

Ordinarily rated at £11.8m by Transfermarkt, he would have been a bargain free transfer due to the imminent expiration of his contract.

What are West Ham missing out on?

Averaging 2.6 interceptions and 2.6 tackles a match, as collated by WhoScored, Badelj is a player who isn’t afraid to get stuck into the opposition and could have been a defensive monster for West Ham had they managed to convince him to sign.

The Irons lacked that kind of solidity and energy in the centre of midfield throughout 2017/18. Both Badelj’s tackle and interception averages were higher than anyone in the West Ham squad and nobody in the entire Serie A made more interceptions than him.

That kind of unique defensive problem solving could have been a big hit at the London Stadium, especially since he backs it up with excellent technical passing ability and the vision to successfully hit long balls forward to teammates.

Sadly for West Ham, it looks like they may have to move onto other targets.