West Ham fans were ecstatic in early June when they won the Europa Conference League. It was a long-awaited moment of glory for the club. However, things have taken a turn since then. Declan Rice, who led the team to victory, has left for Arsenal, and West Ham has yet to reinvest the money they received for him.
The club has been linked with several central midfielders, including James Ward-Prowse, Scott McTominay, Conor Gallagher, and Edson Alvarez. However, their attempts to strengthen the midfield have been unsuccessful so far. Southampton is standing firm on their £50 million valuation of Ward-Prowse, and Alvarez seems to be the most suitable replacement for Rice.
Alvarez, who has been targeted by Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea, has impressive stats. He averaged more passes per game than any other player in the Eredivisie last season, and he is also strong defensively, with a high tackle success rate. His willingness to get stuck in and his ability to fit into West Ham’s preferred formation make him an ideal choice.
While Ward-Prowse, McTominay, and Gallagher are talented players, they may not be the best fit for West Ham’s system. They thrive when playing alongside a defensive midfielder and have the freedom to push forward. With Lucas Paqueta already fulfilling a similar role, it would be a waste to use McTominay or Gallagher as Rice’s replacement.
In addition to the midfield, West Ham also needs to strengthen their defense and attack. Last season, injuries in defense caused problems for the team. Kurt Zouma was the most used center-back, but other options like Thilo Kehrer and Angelo Ogbonna had their limitations. West Ham has been linked with Harry Maguire, but their indecisiveness is hindering progress.
Upfront, West Ham lacks options beyond Michail Antonio and Danny Ings, both of whom are injury-prone and in their 30s. Investing in the frontline is crucial for the team’s success.
Time is running out for West Ham to make these necessary signings. They cannot afford to remain stagnant in the market. While they have the funds from Rice’s transfer, they may have to pay a premium for new additions. Failure to invest could result in a difficult season, especially considering their narrow escape from relegation last year.
In conclusion, West Ham needs to act quickly and decisively in the transfer market. They must prioritize finding a replacement for Rice, strengthening their defense, and adding depth to their attack. The club’s recent success in the Europa Conference League should not overshadow the need for improvement.
West Ham United have concluded that Edson Alvarez is the most logical replacement for Declan Rice if the Englishman continues to attract the attention of other Premier League clubs amid the club’s ongoing transfer conundrum.
The Hammers have recently voiced their determination to make Rice their first choice centre-back long term, but he has swayed interest from Chelsea and Manchester United with his impressive performances this season. With the situation amassing pressure on West Ham, manager David Moyes is now eyeing up potential replacements for the 22-year old.
Mexican international Alvarez is reported to be the top target for West Ham following his move to Ajax last summer. The 23-year old central defender has not featured a great deal this season for the Eredivisie side and has only made six appearances since the start of the campaign.
Though, the versatile defender looks set to be remembered by many for his nation’s showing at the 2018 World Cup and his struggles for first-team minutes this season are unlikely to be a major stumbling block for a potential move.
Alvarez is a competent central defender with a good level of technical ability and aggression at the back, making him an ideal signing for the Hammers should Rice ultimately be prised away from the London Stadium.
With West Ham being linked to a number of defensive targets in the January transfer window, the future of Rice remains uncertain, but the club have identified Alvarez as a logical and realistic replacement if the Englishman does depart East London.