West Ham must bring in Diego Demme with Rice in contract stand-off

West Ham should go through with a move for RasenBallsport Leipzig defensive midfielder Diego Demme, per reports in the Daily Mail.

What’s the word?

The Daily Mail suggests West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini is chasing further options in the heart of his midfield, with Germany’s Diego Demme a possible addition.

Demme has been an RB Leipzig man since 2014 when he joined the Red Bull owned club from SC Paderborn for just £315,000, some way shy of his current TransferMarkt value of £8.1million.

Whilst the likes of Naby Keita, Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg have grabbed the headlines as the club made progress towards Champions League qualification, Demme cemented his importance to the side in the holding role.

So far this season, the 5 foot 7 midfielder is the only player to feature in each of Leipzig’s 10 league games, in which he has averaged a WhoScored rating of 7.08 for his 3.1 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game.

Ready-made Rice replacement

With Declan Rice in a contract standoff that The Telegraph quote Hammers sources as being frustrating for the club, Pellegrini may lose faith with the academy graduate currently locking down the defensive midfield role.

It is also suggested that the Irons’ improved offer of £40,000 a week would be the last put on the table for the 19-year-old, whose deal would not expire until 2020 with an option for a further year.

Holding Rice to his current contract could raise tensions in the Hammers camp resulting in the youngster being gradually fazed out of the Irons side, thus a move for Demme makes sense beyond adding further numbers to a position that has regularly seen injuries this season.

As things stand, Rice makes West Ham a better team as he has shown the importance of having a defensive presence in midfield. His inclusion has allowed the likes of Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass to join Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Grady Diangana in attack without being hamstrung by the thought that they must get back to cover the heart of the pitch.

Take that presence away without a suitable replacement, such as Demme, and the Hammers’ form could easily slump back to the early season results that saw Pellegrini open his account at the London Stadium with four successive losses.