There’s no doubt that West Ham United’s veteran midfielder Carlos Sanchez is a squad player and nothing more. There’s little danger of him usurping Declan Rice or Mark Noble in the centre of midfield any time soon.
However, the fact remains that he is the club’s only real port of call at defensive midfield were Rice to go down injured. Luckily for manager Manuel Pellegrini, the England international has appeared pretty much indestructible thus far.
That may not always be the case, though. Sanchez will never be good enough for West Ham, especially now that he is in the twilight of his career at 33 years of age.
With that said, it’s imperative that the club give him the boot come the January transfer window. At £50,000-per-week [Source: Spotrac], he is massively overpaid for what he does – or doesn’t – offer the team.
Indeed, he’s actually become an obstruction in east London. He is currently holding back the progress of several young players at the club.
The two most obvious example are young central midfielders Josh Cullen and Conor Coventry, both of whom could have served as Rice’s back up this season if it weren’t for Sanchez. Plus, they would both command far lesser wages than the Colombian, probably for doing a better job.
Yes, Cullen is now out on loan at Charlton Athletic, but Coventry is ready and willing to step into the Rice-deputy role if Sanchez was offloaded come the New Year.
Sanchez’s performance against Oxford United in the Carabao Cup earlier this season is evidence of how ill-suited he is to his current role. The veteran midfielder was horrendous, recording a WhoScored rating of just 6.03 for the 4-0 reverse at the Kassam Stadium. If he can’t stem the tide of a League One outfit then what is he at the London Stadium for?
With his contract running out at the end of the season, this is West Ham’s last chance to cash in. They must sell Sanchez and promote Coventry in his place.