Does Manuel Pellegrini’s search for a new defensive midfielder suggest the Hammers made a huge mistake selling Cheikhou Kouyate to Crystal Palace?
Reports in the Daily Mail have linked the London Stadium outfit as harbouring an interest in taking Everton midfielder James McCarthy on loan, as the defensive mid continues to struggle to assert his importance to Marco Silva on the back of a lengthy injury.
Milliyet have also linked the Claret and Blues with a move for Besiktas’ Gary Medel, potentially seeing the 31-year-old return to the Premier League after spending the 2013/14 season at Cardiff. That transfer proved a flop as it lasted one year and cost the Bluebirds a net £4.5million, as Medel cost the Welsh side £11.7million but could only be sold to Inter Milan for £7.2m.
More recently, West Ham thought they could cope without the services of 29-year-old Kouyate after four years, when they allowed the 55-cap Senegal international to leave for Selhurst Park in a deal worth £9.5million.
Most of that will likely now be spent on buying his replacement, should Pellegrini persist with the Chilean, with Besiktas playing hardball over the fee and West Ham upping their offer to €7million (£6.3million).
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Beyond West Ham now searching for his replacement, Kouyate is giving the Irons reason to regret sanctioning his departure with the performances he is putting in for the Eagles.
At Selhurst Park, the Senegal captain has featured in a total of 20 games, and impressed with an average WhoScored rating of 6.7 – enough to see the 6 foot 2 midfielder involved in the best Palace line-up for 19 of the 21 Premier League games played so far.
Individually, the 2012 Senegal Olympic football team member has recorded 33 successful tackles, 11 interceptions and 17 clearances, making it hard for Roy Hodgson not to select him.
Had he stayed at the London Stadium, Pellegrini would likely be in a similar situation, especially after injuries striking Pedro Obiang and Jack Wilshere for most of the season.
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