West Ham United could find another Tomas Soucek in Hans Vanaken in the January transfer window…
According to Belgian outlet Voetbal24, the Irons are amongst the leading candidates to sign the Club Brugge midfielder, having held a long-term interest in signing him.
Back in the summer of 2020, the east Londoners reportedly saw a £13m bid rejected for him, via Sky Sports, with the Jupiler Pro League outfit demanding more. Almost 18 months on, it remains to be seen what sort of price tag he would command.
Transfermarkt currently value the Belgium international at a slightly higher price of £14.4m.
The attacking midfielder, who stands at a whopping 6 foot 5 inches, has all the hallmarks to be another Soucek for David Moyes at the London Stadium, as the similarities go behind their position and towering physical presence.
Vanaken is capable of providing plenty of goals from the engine room, too, having scored eight times and provided five assists in 25 appearances this term, thus taking his goal total tally to 94 for the Belgian giants.
That includes valuable strikes against the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Impressive.
As we know with Soucek, he is one of Moyes’ major goal threats aside from players like Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen. Indeed, he shared the club’s top scorer award with the 31-year-old talisman in the Premier League last season.
Interestingly, Vanaken is equally adept with the ball at his feet despite his tall and thin stature.
“The special thing about Hans is that he has the footwork of a player of 1m 70. You can say that it is not nice to watch, that he is a bit slow, but he has an extraordinary intelligence,” claimed former teammate Onur Kaya to Sport Voetbal Magazine. “To be honest, I think he is stronger than a Dele Alli at Tottenham. He’s skinnier and less pretty to look at, but for me, he has his place at 16 of the 20 Premier League clubs.”
Meanwhile, journalist Peter Vandenbempt once claimed that “Vanaken gets better every year. He has everything Club Brugge wants: vision, technique, the right mentality and scoring ability.”
The Club Brugge colossus could be a shrewd addition for Moyes, in which he could find another Soucek-like presence to help dominate Premier League midfields and defences into the second half of the current campaign.
Vanaken could well be the next goalscoring midfielder to grace the London Stadium, should Rob Newman and co seal his signature this time around.