Abandoning defensive midfield search is a mistake

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Heading into the summer it appeared that West Ham United would need to bring in some reinforcements in central midfield this summer.

The Hammers struggled along with only Declan Rice, Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang as consistent central midfield options, so it would make sense for them to look to bring in some more options in the off season.

The early noises this summer appeared to indicate that they would do just that. However, Claret & Hugh reported on Wednesday that the club have seemingly abandoned their search for a defensive midfielder and are looking to bring in an attacking midfielder instead.

If that truly is the club’s stance, though, then it beggars belief. West Ham have plenty of players who operate in the attacking midfield areas, but precious few who sit in front of the defence and provide a screen for the back four.

In terms of pure defensive midfielders, the Hammers have only Rice, Obiang and Carlos Sanchez, with Obiang expected to depart at some point this summer, leaving only Rice and a 33-year-old coming off a major injury.

In the attacking midfield areas, though, the club have Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko, Michail Antonio, Robert Snodgrass, Grady Diangana and Nathan Holland.

Yet they’ve shifted their attention to the attacking midfield area instead. That just makes no sense. Mooted signing Pablo Fornals is an excellent player, but he’s hardly the team’s most pressing need at the moment.

Really, you have to wonder what manager Manuel Pellegrini and director of football Mario Husillos are thinking here? There’s only a limited transfer budget for the Hammers to spend this summer, but they are seemingly ready to spend the majority of it on Fornals and leave nothing to sign a much-needed defensive midfielder.

Come on, boys. Is this what the Hammers should really be doing? Pellegrini and Husillos need to pull their finger out or they’ll end up regretting their failure to address the defensive midfield area.

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