Date: 1st August 2019 at 5:30pm
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OPINION

West Ham could hit the jackpot if they sign Mario Lemina in the final week of the summer transfer window after it was reported that the Irons are interested in a last-gasp deal.

According to a report by the Daily Mail, the Hammers want to sign Lemina, 25, ahead of the 2019/20 Premier League season kicking off next week.

It is understood that Everton are also eyeing up the former Juventus midfielder after the Telegraph reported in June that Southampton are open to the possibility of cashing in on him.

West Ham have until 5pm on Thursday August 8 to complete their transfer business and if they were to land Lemina before that deadline, Manuel Pellegrini will surely have played a blinder.

Pedro Obiang was sold to Sassuolo last month, leaving West Ham a bit tight on options in the deeper-lying midfield area.

Mark Noble and Declan Rice are bound to be Pellegrini’s first-choice pairing for that position at the moment while away from them he has the injury-prone duo of Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez at his disposal.

Between them last season, Wilshere and Sanchez, who is 33-years-old and in the final year of his contract, missed 64 West Ham fixtures across all competitions.

Leaving them as the only senior back-up options for Noble and Rice could be a huge mistake by Pellegrini.

That is no doubt why the Irons are reportedly interested in a late swoop to sign Lemina from Southampton.

The Gabon international made 23 appearances across all competitions for the Saints last season but according to stats by WhoScored, the deep-lying playmaker could be a good option to replace Obiang.

Lemina had a better pass completion ratio, averaged more key passes and long balls per Premier League appearances last term than former Hammers ace Obiang.

West Ham have defensive-minded midfielders like Rice and Sanchez, so why not add another deeper-lying playmaker to the mix to help add some extra depth?

Lemina’s availability means that he could be available on the cheap but Everton’s interest might mean that West Ham will be lured into a bidding war if they want the Gabonese ace.

However he is a player that Pellegrini needs to sign and looking at his stats, he is someone who can add a lot of composure and technical ability to the Hammers’ central options.

Sealing a last-gasp swoop for Lemina could be an inspired piece of business by the London club.