Premier League

West Ham step up chase for Josh Brownhill

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West Ham United are interested in securing the services of Burnley midfielder Josh Brownhill this summer, as per 90min.

The Lowdown: West Ham looking to add more depth in midfield

With the retirement of Mark Noble, as well as a disappointing loan spell from Czech Republic international Alex Král, David Moyes will be looking to bolster his midfield options ahead of next season’s Premier League and Europa League campaign.

Brownhill, who is valued at £6.3m by Transfermarkt has impressed for Burnley this season despite their relegation, and the midfielder may be wanting to head straight back into the Premier League, with West Ham a potential suitor for the 26-year-old.

The Latest: Brownhill interest anticipated to step up

According to journalist  Toby Cudworth, the Irons’ interest in the English midfielder is expected to step up following Burnley’s relegation to the Championship this season.

Moyes’ side first showed an interest in Brownhill at the start of the month, but it seems that Burnley’s relegation has encouraged West Ham to move quickly.

“Central midfielder Josh Brownhill is also a target as West Ham look to replace retiring captain Mark Noble, and he should be available for a reasonable price after Burnley’s relegation to the Championship,” said the 90min writer in his latest article on the transfer.

The Verdict: Potential to be a first-team starter

Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has heaped praise on Brownhill in the past, with Villa also thought to be in the running for the midfielder’s signature this summer.

“Josh Brownhill, I think he is a fabulous player, I really do.”

“Out of [Sander] Berge and him, I’d take Brownhill all day just because Josh Brownhill reminds me of John McGinn.

Brownhill would likely be in competition with Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček for a spot in Moyes’ midfield two.

As per FBref, the current Burnley man’s passing stats are underwhelming in comparison to his competitors, with a completion rate of 75.6% of successful passes from an attempted 1,191, totalling a progressive distance of 4,285 yards.

This pales in comparison to Rice’s 90.7% from a total of 2,151 passes, with a total progressive distance of 9,246 yards.

This would suggest that he isn’t as likely to play the killer passes that begin West Ham attacks like his compatriot in Rice, but it is defensively where Brownhill’s talents lie.

According to the same website, Brownhill is extremely competent at pressing the ball, with his team having successfully regained possession of the ball within five seconds of him applying pressure 31.1% of the time, from 540 attempts, whilst Rice fares slightly better at 32.4% from 476 attempts, and Souček ranks further behind, with a 26.7% success rate from 483 attempts.

Brownhill may not provide the attacking instinct that both Rice and Souček can offer Moyes, but if he can secure the services of Brownhill for a reasonable price, the Irons’ may just have the ideal cover on their hands.

In other news West Ham are close to agreeing a fee for Nayef Aguerd

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