David Sullivan delivered a late blunder in the winter transfer market, as West Ham United missed the boat in their Deadline Day pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye.
According to journalist Dave Appadoo, the Irons strived to make last-ditch efforts to sign Gueye in the final hours of the winter transfer market.
David Moyes’ side would have been on pole position for his signature as PSG were receptive to parting with the former Everton enforcer, who moved to the Ligue 1 giants for close to £30m in 2019.
The decision over whether or not Gueye would leave Le Parc des Princes is thought to have been down to the £108,000-per-week midfielder, but it would appear that he opposed the London Stadium as a potential destination.
Gueye had already snubbed a return to the Premier League with Newcastle United, after the Toon approached PSG over the weekend requesting to sign the 31-year-old on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 74-cap Senegal international is said to have rejected the notion of playing at St. James’ as he wished to join a side higher in the table than Newcastle, who are engulfed in a relegation fight under Steve Bruce.
Gueye’s time in the French capital had been thrown into doubt following the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as Thomas Tuchel’s successor, with the former Tottenham Hotspur head coach awarding him just nine minutes of Ligue 1 football since replacing him in the 56th-minute of a 3-0 win over Stade Brest on January 9.
West Ham certainly appear to have missed the boat in failing to convince Gueye to accept a last-ditch move to the London Stadium, as Moyes is only one injury to Tomas Soucek or Declan Rice away from a possible disaster in the engine room.
Soucek and Rice are two pivotal parts of Moyes’ plans at the London Stadium, with the pair, plus defender Aaron Cresswell, the only West Ham players to have played all 1,890 minutes of the Hammers’ Premier League campaign to date.
Only right-back Vladimir Coufal (2.7) averages a higher amount of successful tackles per game than Rice (2.0) and Soucek (1.9), among those to have featured more than five times in the top-flight for Moyes this term. Rice also ranks first for interceptions (2), per WhoScored, as the holding duo often mop up possession to protect the West Ham backline.
The aging Mark Noble is Moyes’ only depth in the holding midfield role after the Irons failed to convince Chelsea to sanction a loan deal for Billy Gilmour.
Gueye would easily have been able to make up for missing out on Gilmour, having been one of the best holding midfielders in the Premier League during his final year with Everton.
The 31-year-old ranked second only to Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi (143) for successful tackles (142) and registered the sixth-most interceptions (74) by any player in the division during the 2018/19 campaign, per WhoScored.
Gueye’s potential to strengthen Moyes’ ranks is therefore as clear as day, but Sullivan missed the boat with the £16m-rated beast once dubbed “sensational” and “really special” by Phil Neville for his efforts with Everton.
Perhaps if Sullivan had moved sooner, then he and Moyes may have had time to convince Gueye to move to West Ham, but alas, that was not the case and the Hammers are now left in a precarious position.