West Ham United could well be plotting a move to bolster their midfield ranks in the near future, with recent reports suggesting that PSV Eindhoven colossus, Ibrahim Sangare, is one of those currently on the club’s radar.
Despite having overseen an extensive summer of recruitment that saw eight major deals completed, one area that still appears somewhat depleted is the centre of the park, with journalist Paul Brown only recently stating that it “was a position they were looking to strengthen”, only to have missed out on “quite a few targets”.
As per 90min, the Hammers have now identified that man Sangare as a potential solution to their midfield woes, having reportedly been ‘impressed’ by what they have seen from the Cote d’Ivoire international of late.
The suggestion is that with persistent speculation regarding the future of skipper Declan Rice – and with Tomas Soucek’s contract talks having hit an impasse – an extra quality recruit could well be what is needed.
The PSV man only recently signed a new long-term deal with the Eredivisie outfit, although the report claims that the 24-year-old would be keen on a move to England, having been linked with a number of Premier League clubs over the summer.
Manchester United and Chelsea were both named by Sky Sports as potential suitors in the recent window, while Football Insider claimed that both Aston Villa and Leicester City were keen on the former Toulouse man.
The suggestion at the time, prior to the player’s recent extension, was that the 24-cap brute had a release clause of around £30m in his contract at his current side, with Newcastle United also another one of those to have shown an interest in a move.
West Ham, too, were also linked with a swoop late in the window after missing out on Amadou Onana, with it now time for the east Londoners to finally get their man and land the “extraordinary” figure in the near future, as described by analyst Aad de Mos.
The 6-foot-3 powerhouse has more than shown his quality in Holland of late, proving himself a true ball-winning master as the towering ace ranks in the top 1% for tackles made and the top 3% for interceptions made among his European peers.
That record is far greater than the aforementioned Soucek for instance, with the “abysmal” dud – as described by journalist Josh Bunting – ranking in just the top 37% and top 9% for the same two metrics, respectively.
The latter man has also come under fire for his quality in possession as the Czech Republic international ranks in just the bottom 20% for progressive passes, while his potential replacement Sangare ranks in the top 7% in that regard.
That could well ensure that the Hammers target proves to be the ideal partner to Rice at the heart of the midfield – so long as the Englishman remains at the London Stadium – having also showcased his attacking quality this term with five goals in just 18 games across all fronts from his defensive-minded berth.
Any fears over the player’s ability to make an impact in English football can well be eased by his display in the recent defeat to Arsenal in the Europa League at the Emirates, with the imposing presence notably winning six of his eight ground duels and recording three tackles on the day.
While there may well be fierce competition for his signature, the Irons must simply do all they can to try and get Sangare through the door.