West Ham United have failed to translate last season’s stunning form – which led them to a Europa League semi-final and seventh place in the Premier League – to this term, having already suffered nine league defeats before the World Cup break.
Several of David Moyes’ summer arrivals haven’t quite clicked yet, with Lucas Paqueta failing to score in eight matches so far, while Gianluca Scamacca has netted just six goals from 21 appearances and having splashed out £35.5m for him, much more will be expected during the second half of the campaign.
The midfield is the area that needs some rejuvenation, and Moyes could add some dynamism with the signing of Brazilian midfielder Gerson.
The club have been linked with the 25-year-old as of late and considering he has played just 541 minutes of football this season for Marseille, he could be on the move in January for a fee of around €20m (£17m).
Gerson could form an excellent partnership with Declan Rice in the sides midfield axis, with the Brazilian able to utilise his attacking talents and allowing Rice to concentrate on defending and winning the ball back.
Last season, Gerson scored 11 goals and registered ten assists across all competitions and this attacking impetus is exactly what Moyes needs in his team.
Rice proved last term that he doesn’t mind the nitty gritty aspect of the game, making 2.4 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, and 1.3 clearances per game while also winning 61% of his total duels and this defensive acumen could allow Gerson to focus on pushing further up the pitch and creating opportunities for teammates, safe in the knowledge that the Englishman will be sweeping everything up behind him.
The Marseille midfielder opened up on his struggles during his time at AS Roma and having spent a season on loan at Fiorentina under Stefano Pioli, he credited the Italian, saying:
“I only played to score goals or provide assists, but I realised I could influence the game even without the ball and I’m glad: I feel much more complete now.”
This difficult spell in Italy looks like it has improved him as a player and with Moyes looking to find a spark from somewhere to improve West Ham’s form after the break, Gerson could certainly be the catalyst.
He could slot into the midfield alongside Rice with ease and form an excellent duo with the 23-year-old, so head of recruitment Rob Newman must look to win the Brazilian’s signature in January.