It’s still unclear quite what happened at West Ham on deadline day amid their search for another option in central midfield, with manager Slaven Bilic since disputing claims from owner David Sullivan that he turned down the chance to sign now-West Bromwich Albion loanee Grzegorz Krychowiak from PSG.
Either way, fans of the east London club received the most compelling evidence yet of what they missed out on last night, when Tony Pulis’ side travelled to the Emirates Stadium to take on a high-quality opponent in the form of Arsenal.
The Baggies may have returned to the Midlands without a point from a 2-0 defeat but the 45-cap international stood out in the heart of midfield, not only for his contributions out of possession – two tackles and five interceptions – but also the quality he showed on the ball.
Krychowiak, who Transfermarkt value at £22.5million, actually finished up with the most touches of any West Brom player and laid on one created chance, while many of his ranging passes from midfield launched the Baggies breakaways that consistently created problems at the back for Arsenal.
It was a performance that highlighted the two-time Europa League winner’s pedigree and although Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate gave a decent account of themselves against Tottenham at the weekend, the 18th-placed Irons would surely have benefited from the 27-year-old taking a role in their engine room this season.
Whether Bilic, Sullivan or someone else is to blame, West Ham appear to have missed out on a very solid addition – all the more disappointingly, to a potential divisional rival.