West Ham legend Mark Noble is entering the twilight years of his Irons career and whilst he’s still got plenty more to give, it would be wise to find his long-term replacement sooner rather than later…
According to 90min, the Hammers are one of a host of Premier League teams taking a keen interest in signing Schalke 04 midfielder Weston McKennie this summer.
It’s claimed that the Bundesliga outfit need to raise funds through sales and the USA international hasn’t hid his desire to one day play in the English top-flight.
The report goes onto suggest that a bidding war could ensue with the likes of Southampton, Everton, Aston Villa and Newcastle United all keen.
He could cost in excess of £20m.
At 33, Noble doesn’t have too many years left at the London Stadium so a move for 19-cap 21-year-old begins to make the world of sense, even more so when you look at his playing style.
McKennie has been compared to Barcelona powerhouse Arturo Vidal due to the way he ‘breaks down opposition attacks and wins back possession’ and is able to play anywhere in the middle, whether that be a defensive No. 6 or a more advanced no.8 or 10.
Bundesliga.com once described the American as a “true midfield warrior,” which has been echoed by his current boss David Wagner, who said: “He’s an outstanding talent. In the No.6 or No.8 position he has the mentality, a real working mentality that you need. And he’s brave on the ball as well.”
Noble has played an array of midfield roles for the Hammers over his long 16-year career, including surprise appearances in the hole towards the end of the season, which makes McKennie even more viable.
Per WhoScored, the young enforcer averaged 1.6 interceptions, 1.4 tackles, 1.1 shots and 1 dribble per appearance in the Bundesliga last season.
He may not quite be the finished article just yet, but a season or two learning from Noble could help David Moyes make the transition when that day finally does arrive.
AND in other news, West Ham should forget Shane Duffy and sign “unplayable” PL colossus…