Date: 8th August 2019 at 7:32pm
Written by:

OPINION

West Ham fans will surely be gutted with a report from Italy which claims that Bologna midfielder Erick Pulgar could be on his way to Fiorentina.

Last month, Chilean broadcaster Canal de Futbol claimed that the Hammers were interested in signing the 25-year-old Chile international as a potential replacement for Declan Rice amid links between him and Manchester United.

Because Pulgar is a good player and has a bargain ¬£11million release clause in his contract at Bologna, there were a lot of West Ham fans on Twitter who were urging the club to sign the defensive midfielder, with a couple even saying that he is better than Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama.

However now that the Premier League transfer window has slammed shut, the Irons no longer have the chance to sign Pulgar and other clubs from across Europe have the chance to snap up the impressive Bologna enforcer.

And according to a recent report from Italy, that could be about to happen.

Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla has reported via his personal website that Fiorentina are willing to trigger Pulgar’s release club in a bid to lure him away from Bologna.

It is understood that the Chilean midfielder is keen on a move to Fiorentina, who want to try and reach an agreement with the player’s representatives on Saturday.

It’s a blow for West Ham because they are now powerless and will more than likely see Pulgar head to Florence rather than East London.

Although the Irons’ summer business has been widely praised by pundits and fans, one area of the squad that should have been strengthened – and was weakened if anything – was defensive midfield.

Pedro Obiang was offloaded to Sassuolo but no one came in to replace him even though Carlos Sanchez spent almost all of last season sidelined with injury, is in the final year of his contract and has not shown great form in pre-season friendlies.

Pulgar was impressive for Bologna last season as he made 30 appearances across all competitions, scoring six goals and supplying three assist in the process.

Stats by WhoScored suggest that Pulgar might not have just been a good replacement for Obiang, but also an upgrade.

Pulgar averaged more tackles, interceptions and clearances per league appearance than Obiang last season.

The Chile international also boasted far better passing stats than the former West Ham midfielder.

Pulgar’s pass completion rate of 83.9 per cent is impressive for someone whose main job is to sit just in front of the defence while he also averaged way more key passes, long balls and crosses than Obiang.

It is clear that West Ham could be about to miss out on what would have been a very solid signing for them.

Pellegrini no doubt knows Pulgar well as he is a fellow Chilean, he has a cheap £11million release clause and all the stats suggest that he would have been a good acquisition.

Unfortunately, those West Ham fans who were begging for the club to sign Pulgar will now more than likely have to watch him play for Fiorentina this season instead.