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West Ham United: Moyes can sign Rice heir in Sofyan Amrabat

West Ham United are eyeing a swoop for Morocco star Sofyan Amrabat as David Moyes is keen to bolster his midfield options during the January transfer window.

What’s the news?

The Daily Mail (December 16, page 76) reported that the Hammers were keeping tabs on the 26-year-old after his excellent performances for Morocco at the World Cup, with the midfielder playing a key role in helping the Atlas Lions to create history by becoming the first African side to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

The Mirror (December 23, page 53, via West Ham Zone) have since claimed that Moyes has the Fiorentina player on his wish list, with the Serie A club valuing the player at £35m.

Dream Declan Rice heir

This certainly looks like it could be Rice’s last season at the London Stadium, having outlined his ambitions to play Champions League football; and with the 23-year-old’s contract expiring in 2024, Moyes might cash in on him during the summer.

The Englishman has been an integral part of West Ham’s recent success, helping them to consecutive top-half Premier League finishes and reaching last season’s Europa League semi-finals, and whoever replaces him will have big shoes to fill.

Amrabat might be the ideal heir, especially after his wonderful displays in Qatar. The 26-year-old averaged a solid Sofascore rating of 6.83/10 across his seven matches in the World Cup.

Mainly deployed in the heart of the Morocco midfield, Amrabat showcased his impressive defensive abilities, averaging 2.3 tackles, 1.4 clearances and 0.9 interceptions per game as he was part of a team which conceded just five goals during the entire tournament, and only one before the semi-finals.

Despite his success in Qatar clearly prompting interest, it is perhaps no surprise that he dazzled in the Middle East considering his form for Fiorentina this season. The midfielder has taken 53.5 touches and made 0.5 key passes per game in Serie A while holding an impressive 91% pass success rate.

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Who did West Ham lose their first league game of the season against?

Journalist Lorenz Kohler dubbed the player “different class”, and there is no doubt that he could ease into Premier League life if he makes the move to east London.

Moyes faces an interesting January transfer window given the Irons’ lowly league placing, and the West Ham faithful could hopefully be set to welcome a man who could go on to become Rice’s long-term heir at the London Stadium.