If Manuel Pellegrini’s tried and trusted 4-2-2-2 setup is to have the right impact at West Ham, the new Irons gaffer needs to find the perfect central midfielders for his system this summer. But amid the age of three-man engine rooms, more traditional box-to-box midfielders that combine both defensive grit with offensive quality are becoming more and more of a rarity.
It worked at Manchester City because Yaya Toure and Fernandinho are such dynamic, powerful and talented midfielders, but nobody at West Ham is really close to their level or the same type of surging presence, perhaps with the exception of Cheikhou Kouyate whose technical ability often leaves much to be desired.
But the World Cup inevitably serves as an audition and if there’s a player with Premier League experience the east London club’s recruiters should be taking notice of, it’s Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy. The Australian international was the driving force that kept the Terriers in the top flight last season and he’s brought that impressive form to Russia, representing his country in a 2-1 defeat to France.
Indeed, Mooy may have ended up on the losing side but he still hugely impressed in the engine room, making key contributions at both ends of the pitch with five tackles and five clearances but also two accurate crosses and two created chances.
That ability to balance out offensive and defensive duties could be exactly what makes Pellegrini’s West Ham side really come to life in the Argentine’s anticipated 4-2-2-2 formation, especially if he’s paired with a partner that offers a touch extra physicality, and Transfermarkt value him at a mere £9million.
So, West Ham fans, would you back a swoop for Mooy this summer? Let us know by voting below…
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