While West Ham United have had good production from central midfield with the likes of Declan Rice and Mark Noble this season, there hasn’t been much attacking thrust from that area of the pitch.
That’s a big issue for the Hammers, but one that they can attempt to solve this summer. Italian outlet Tutto Mercato reported earlier this week that the club are interested in Hoffenheim utility man Steven Zuber.
The Swiss international can play all the way across the midfield, but more often that not he featured as a central midfielder for loan club Stuttgart in the Bundesliga this campaign [Source: Transfermarkt].
There’s no doubt that the 27-year-old could provide the cutting edge the Hammers have been missing, given that five of his six goals this season came when he was playing in the middle of the park.
West Ham’s top scoring central midfielder this term was Mark Noble with five. Not much of a difference to Zuber’s tally of six you say? Well, consider that four of the skipper’s five goals were from the penalty spot. Manuel Pellegrini’s side were starved of creativity and end product from their central midfielders this season.
Just 23% of the team’s attacks this season came through the centre of the pitch [Source: WhoScored], suggesting that Pellegrini is aware that his central players don’t have the ability to unlock the door in the way his wingers do.
Zuber, though, has the ability to get forward and provide that attacking thrust from the middle of the pitch that the Hammers have been missing. Plus, he has the versatility to operate in a few different positions as well.
It’s imperative that West Ham capitalise on their interest in Zuber and follow it up with an official bid – he’s exactly what they need.