David Moyes could land West Ham United a tactically intelligent talent by pursuing Manchester City midfielder Yangel Herrera this summer.
According to Goal, the Hammers are monitoring Herrera ahead of his expected return to the Etihad Stadium from a two-year loan spell with Granada.
The 23-year-old has been in outstanding form after establishing himself as a key player at the La Liga outfit this term, and could be welcomed into Pep Guardiola’s plans next season.
Manchester City are yet to offer veteran midfield anchor Fernandinho a new deal ahead of his contract expiring in June, and they are expected to be in the market for a new centre-forward to replace Sergio Aguero.
However, the Citizens may have to look to their young players to plug some gaps after posting losses of £126m for the 2019/20 campaign, which could see Herrera finally be given a shot after loan deals with New York City, SD Huesca and Granada since his arrival in 2017.
Premier League and La Liga suitors have not been discouraged, though, as West Ham and Southampton are keeping tabs of his situation with a view to a potential summer swoop.
It is not claimed whether the Irons or Saints would look to sign Herrera on loan or in a permanent transfer, with the 23-cap Venezuela international under contract at the Etihad Stadium through to the summer of 2024.
Reports by the Manchester Evening News noted that the Sky Blues are aware of the interest in Herrera from England and Spain, and are weighing up his future having decided that he would have no issues adapting to the Premier League.
If Manchester City opt against offering 35-year-old Fernandinho a new contract after deciding to let Aguero (32) leave at the end of the season, West Ham’s interest in Herrera could swiftly become a moot point.
However, if a squad place does not become available for Herrera at the Etihad Stadium over the next few months, Moyes should explore what it would take to sign the Monagas SC product.
Arsenal icon Patrick Vieira was a huge advocate of Herrera during the midfielder’s spell with New York City, where he started 32 of his 38 appearances across all competitions.
“He’s a tactically intelligent midfielder who is strong in the tackle and reads the game well,” the former NYCFC boss said in 2017. “Yangel also has good passing range and spatial awareness, which is crucial for a player in his position.”
David Villa also claimed that “Herrera is one of the best players in MLS” during his time at Yankee Stadium and suggested that “Yangel is going to be a world-class player in the next few years.”
Herrera may not be world-class yet, but he is a key part of Diego Martínez’s Granada side with 20 starts over 26 appearances in La Liga this season, showing the versatility to play across the spine of the Nazaries’ midfield.
His performances in Spain’s top flight this term have also returned a comparable volume of tackles per 90 minutes (2.15) seen from Declan Rice (2.45) and Tomas Soucek (2.17) in the Premier League, per FBref.
Unlike Rice (0.93) and Soucek (0.97), Herrera makes 1.15 of his tackles in the middle third and 0.24 in the attacking zone (Rice 0.03, Soucek 0.23). He also applies pressure more often (21.1% to 15.1%) and makes more blocks (2.49 to 1.72 and 1.4).
If the chance is there for West Ham to sign Herrera, then Moyes should urge the London Stadium natives to pursue the option.
AND in other news, West Ham land major boost in race to sign “complete” £11m-rated target for free…