West Ham United could be set to bolster their midfield ranks before the end of the window, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the reliable source stated that the Hammers could well pursue a new defensive midfield recruit as deadline day approaches, having been left somewhat short in that department following the retirement of one-club hero, Mark Noble, as well as the departure of loan flop, Alex Kral.
Jones stated: “Midfield does look short for me for West Ham. So, I think that we might even end up seeing a defensive midfielder being looked at as well in the late stages.”
The east Londoners notably missed out on a deal for Belgian starlet Amadou Onana following the 20-year-old’s move to Everton earlier this summer, albeit while adding boyhood fan Flynn Downes to their ranks from Swansea City.
The addition of Downes – as well as the return of young Conor Coventry from his loan stint at MK Dons – has somewhat bolstered David Moyes’ ranks at the base of the midfield, albeit with the former Toffees boss still largely dependant on the first-choice pairing of skipper Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.
That reliance has proven something of an issue in what’s been a frustrating start to the new season so far domestically, with the latter man, in particular, having been a hugely disappointing presence in the opening weeks of the campaign.
The most recent defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion saw the £67k-per-week come in for intense criticism, with broadcaster Tom Rennie labelling his display “awful”, while Football London reporter Jonty Colman – in his post-match player ratings – stated that the 6 foot 4 menace produced a ‘quiet’ performance having left Rice to do ‘much of the dirty work’.
Having by his own admission spurned a handful of key chances a week earlier in the loss to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest, it has been a particularly dismal spell for the former Slavia Prague man and a far cry from his early impact in English football.
Having arrived on an initial loan deal back in January 2020, the £40.5m-rated colossus went on to score ten league goals in his first full campaign with the Irons during the 2020/21 season, proving himself an instant cult figure among the club’s support.
Last season, however, saw him register just six goals across all fronts despite the Hammers’ lengthy Europa League run, with that drop-off in form leading to reports that he could be moved on earlier this summer, amid suggestion of a potential contractual dispute.
The Czech Republic international appears unlikely to move on with just a week or so left in the window, although his regular role in the side is potentially under threat, particularly if Jones’ claim is to be believed.
While not naming names, Moyes has recently suggested that some members of his squad are “maybe not quite the same as they were even a year ago/a year and a half ago”, with the ongoing “big transition” this summer potentially set to see some notable casualties.
In truth, it would be no surprise if Soucek is one of those to be replaced, with the 27-year-old failing to replicate his previous stunning form.