Crystal Palace have reportedly bid €10m (£8.9m) for Roma’s Maxime Gonalons, but he could be the perfect man to take the armband off Mark Noble at West Ham.
According to Sky Sports, Crystal Palace have made the first move for Gonalons, tabling a bid on Wednesday evening.
The experienced midfielder was unable to really force himself into the first eleven with Roma last season, and is looking to revive his career elsewhere.
The Eagles already have the sturdy presence of Luka Milivojevic in midfield, so adding Gonalons would give them a duo packed with leadership and experience.
Gonalons’ leadership abilities would also make him the perfect fit at the London Stadium though, where the Hammers will need to replace the ageing Noble sooner rather than later.
West Ham are absolutely certain to dip into the market again for a central midfielder, as Pedro Obiang and Cheikhou Kouyate are both expected to leave, and at just £8.9m they should definitely throw their hat in the ring for Gonalons.
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The first thing that jumps out about Gonalons is his commanding leadership. The eight-cap Frenchman played over 300 games for Lyon, putting him eighth on their all time appearances list.
Gonalons is more than just a good presence to have around the team though, as he is one the more technically gifted defensive midfielders you will find. The 29 year-old boasted an 87 per cent pass success rate despite having a relatively poor season by his standards, and averaged over one key pass per 90 minutes. He is reliable and composed on the ball, and will link up nicely with Jack Wilshere.
Defending is his bread and butter though, using his dominant stature and excellent game reading ability to break up opposition attacks before they even begin. He won over three aerial duels per game last season, and averaged 1.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.2 clearances per game.
If Pellegrini wants a player who can lead by example, cover the defence, and win balls in the air all while being a key part of building attacks, then anywhere around the £10m mark for Gonalons is really a no brainer.
So, West Ham fans, do you think Gonalons would be a good signing? Is it time for Noble to take to the bench? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…