Sunday 5 August 2018

Kouyate Cheiks Out: So Who are the Likely Replacements?

Cheikhou Kouyate's departure from West Ham signals the extent of the club's ambitions for the new Pellegrini era. As a mobile midfield presence with Premiership experience and now a seasoned international having played in all of Senegal's World Cup matches, he is a great capture for Crystal Palace.  

Kouyate's disarming positivity will undoubtedly encourage Hammers fans to wish him every success at his new club. However, many have felt for some time that he needs a switch as his Hammers career seems to have reached a plateau. 

The transfer gives a clear indication that West Ham's spending is not yet complete as they really need a mobile defensive presence in midfield. Declan Rice looks set to get plenty of game time in that role but otherwise the options are limited with age catching up on Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang apparently on the verge of a return to Italy.  

Although Pellegrini's team have looked good in Preseason, in reality the opposition has been very modest and the capacity of his new look back line to withstand the kind of high tempo assault that is typical of Premiership encounters remains untested.

The big question amongst West Ham fans is who will arrive to add muscle to the midfield. Pellegrini has used a 4-2-3-1 formation quite a bit in pre-season, so the question is who will fill the two berths in front of the back four? Recent speculation has focussed upon Maximi Gonalons (Roma), Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea), Stefano Sturaro (Juventus), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge) and Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

Under the current management, the Hammers are playing their cards much closer to their chest so fans should prepare themselves for the unexpected!

1 comment:

  1. I really don't want Drinkwater. He'd me no improvement on Kouyate.


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