Date: 23rd July 2019 at 3:17pm
Written by:

OPINION

Ever since the appointment of manager Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham United have conducted themselves like a club seeking to break into the established Premier League top six.

After the signings of playmaker Pablo Fornals and striker Sebastien Haller this summer, you’d have to say that they are a few quality depth players off potentially completing that aim.

However, quality depth players doesn’t mean aged former Premier League flops. As per Turkish publication Fanatik recently, the Hammers have all but agreed a deal to sign veteran defensive midfielder Gary Medel from Istanbul giants Besiktas.

We’ve seen this movie before, of course, and Medel still isn’t a West Ham player. However, we’ve never been at the point where a transfer has reportedly been all but completed.

This report, far from gladdening the Hammers faithful, will surely have them shaking their heads in disapproval. The Chile international simply isn’t the sort of player the east London outfit need for an assault on the top six.

Let’s think back to what happened the last time West Ham signed a past-his-best holding midfielder. It doesn’t take much stretching of the memory banks to recall that last summer’s signing of Carlos Sanchez proved to be an unmitigated disaster.

The Colombian international payed a handful of sub-par games for Pellegrini’s side before succumbing to a serious injury and missing the majority of the season.

Now, his fellow veteran South American is seemingly headed to the London Stadium. The problem here, though, is not necessarily Medel’s current standard of play.

As per WhoScored.com, the Besiktas man was second only to Declan Rice out of West Ham’s three most used central midfielders in the majority of major defensive statistical categories last season, although his tendency to commit fouls is a concern.

The issue is that he is an ageing player, past-his-best, with previous experience as a Premier League flop with Cardiff City, who would stymie the progress of youngsters like Josh Cullen and Conor Coventry.

With that said, it would be advisable for Pellegrini to put the kibosh on this potential move as quickly as possible.