West Ham United’s summer transfer window saw them strengthen multiple areas of the pitch, but the start of the season has shown that they’re still light in a couple of areas.
Namely: left back and central midfield. Luckily for manager Manuel Pellegrini these are two areas that can be addressed by the January signing of Manchester City man Fabian Delph.
The England international, on a reported £90,000-per-week at the Etihad Stadium [Source: Spotrac], has been left out in the cold by Pep Guardiola this season having played an important part in the team’s Premier League title win last campaign.
After appearing 29 times in all competitions for the Citizens last term, the 28-year-old has featured just three times this time around.
That’s a remarkable drop off from a player who demonstrated admirable versatility and leadership qualities last season. When Benjamin Mendy went down early last year, it was Delph who made the unexpected transition to left back – a position he’d never really played before.
And the former Aston Villa man was excellent in place of the Frenchman. He demonstrated his underrated defensive ability and routinely shackled some of the finest wingers in the Premier League.
Bringing Delph in in January would provide Pellegrini with a man who can solve his two biggest problems. Left back is quickly becoming a major issue for the team, with Aaron Cresswell not fancied by the Chilean and Arthur Masuaku continuing to struggle defensively.
In central midfield Pellegrini has found a fine trio in Mark Noble, Declan Rice and Pedro Obiang, but recent injuries have left him devoid of strength in depth at the position.
Delph would come in and join Jack Wilshere as the team’s most naturally talented midfielder, while his ability at left back would make him a valuable asset for the former Manchester City boss.
He can operate in both positions to a high level, while he would provide the team with the same winning mentality that Pablo Zabaleta brought to the London Stadium ahead of last season.
At 28 years of age Delph is in his prime and has shown in the past that he is a top class midfielder. Snaring him in January would be a massive coup for the Hammers, and would see an instant improvement in the team.