David Moyes must swoop for Jean-Ricner Bellegarde in the January transfer window, after the West Ham United target produced a dominant display as RC Strasbourg Alsace thrashed Nimes Olympique 5-0 on Wednesday night.
Bellegarde has emerged as a potential option for the Hammers to chase in the mid-season market as Moyes looks to improve his ranks at the London Stadium, but could face competition from rivals Crystal Palace, according to Foot Mercato.
Both sides are believed to have approached the 22-year-old’s agent to sound out his interest in a potential move, having been attracted by the midfielder’s eye-catching performances in Ligue 1 over the past year-and-a-half.
West Ham were credited with an interest in signing Bellegarde last summer but failed to seal a deal to sign the Haiti international, who Fiorentina had previously strived to acquire (Corriere dello Sport, 18/8, p. 26).
Bellegarde remained at the Meinau Stadium where he has started 15 of his 16 Ligue 1 appearances under Thierry Laurey this term, sitting out only two matches thus far with a thigh injury sustained last month.
The £3.6m-rated gem has proven a key weapon in Laurey’s plans with minutes in several midfield roles, spread over deep-lying, wide and forward positions, but is yet to register a goal or an assist.
Laurey utilised Bellegarde as the left-sided option in a three-man midfield at home to Nimes on Wednesday night, and saw the former France youth international provide a box-to-box threat as he controlled the game throughout his time on the pitch.
Bellegarde offered one key ball and took one shot before being replaced in the 81st-minute, while having won the penalty which saw Strasbourg seal a 3-0 lead moments before half-time following a VAR review, per SofaScore.
He additionally dominated in the duel with success in six of 10 ground battles while beating his marker with four of his five dribbles, made a successful tackle, two interceptions and was never dribbled past.
The £4,000-per-week enforcer further took a total of 64 touches and completed 35 of his 40 attempted passes, including finding teammates with three of seven crosses as Bellegarde brought the width to Laurey’s plans on the left-hand channel.
Bellegarde’s performance would have delighted any West Ham scouts in attendance, who would be able to report back to Moyes a glowing rendition of the RC Lens product reminiscent of Tomas Soucek for his ability to provide a key driving threat from midfield.