No matter what happens between now and the close of the transfer window, this summer already looks like being marked down as a highly successful one for West Ham. There has been a style to the way they’ve done their business once more, and the likes of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Jack Wilshere look like very smart signings indeed.
That does not, however, mean that the club’s business is done. It’s believed that new boss Manuel Pellegrini is still seeking further recruits, and AS Roma midfielder Maxime Gonalons is top of his list.
A last minute swoop for the 29-year-old is being reported as imminent in Italy, while both Everton and Crystal Palace have also expressed an interest in recent months. Yet, with the competition is not believed to be fierce, the London Stadium seems his most likely destination.
In a market where £20m seems cheap, some eyebrows will be raised by the proposed price tag. West Ham will only have to fork over £8.9m to snap up the former Lyon man, and that has left some question just how good he can possibly be.
|CLUB Roma||AGE 29Y 4M|
|POS DEF||HEIGHT 6FT 2IN|
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Fans entertaining such concerns needn’t bother, in truth. Gonalons may have played in just 16 of AS Roma’s 38 Serie A outings last term, but his impact was hugely impressive.
Most of his appearances were as a defensive midfielder, while his versatility also allowed him to play at centre-back, and his contribution at the back was huge. Average goals conceded per game dropped to just 0.6 with Gonalons, and the frequency of clean sheets increased by 15%.
In fact, Roma performed better in just about every regard when the Frenchman was on the field, and it’s genuinely puzzling to understand why he was not afforded more playing time.
This season’s Premier League looks set to be tougher than ever, and West Ham must be ready for the challenge. The signing of Gonalons would be a fantastic way to close a strong summer, and the deal should be pushed for until the very last moment.
The Acca Smacker
For fans across the continent, the excitement is building. A new season is here and optimism is rife. Will new signings stun? Will titles be won? Everyone hopes, but nobody knows. Domestic football’s back, and we could be happier.
KickOff’s unique Acca Smacker is also making a timely return, bringing you Predictions, Form Streaks and Form Stats for every market, every match and every top competition. We’ve made building a winning bet so easy it feels like cheating, so why not have a go below and give those bookies a bashing?