West Ham are set to reignite their interest in Sampdoria midfielder Pedro Obiang – dubbed the next Yaya Toure – when the transfer window reopens, reports in Italy suggest.
The Hammers were linked with a summer move for the Spaniard but his club, who are said to have previously rejected bids from AC Milan, Juventus and Roma, were reluctant to let him go.
The 22-year-old started his career as a trainee at Atletico Madrid and is a Spain Under-21 international with 65 Serie A appearances to his name.
Obiang is a tall, powerful, athletic central midfielder and he has been in superb form for Sampdoria this season which will only have enhanced his reputation further. He is a real force in the middle of the park, in 11 appearances this term he has one goal and one assist but he also makes an average of 3.6 tackles per game.
The Spanish youth international has a great passing range, is excellent in the tackle and putting in important blocks but he is also capable of going on surging bursts through opposition defences which is perhaps where the Toure comparison comes from. Obiang is not quite at the Manchester City man’s level yet, though, but he will only get better with experience.
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If Sam Allardyce can pull off a deal for this young starlet in January it will provide a massive boost to their European ambitions. They already have Cheikhou Kouyate and Alex Song in the heart of their team but adding Obiang into the mix will no doubt make it one of the best midfield's in the Premier League – certainly the most powerful.
The three of them are all extremely athletic, strong, pacey and creative and they would be able to complement each other brilliantly. Obiang signing could spell the end of fan favourite Mark Noble’s run in the side, though, but it would definitely add to the strength-in-depth at the club.
If West Ham are to make any signings in January they need to sell-off all the fringe players that don’t meet the mark. These would include perhaps Kevin Nolan, Ricardo Vaz Te, Carlton Cole and Matt Jarvis.
By selling these players who no longer contribute enough to the cause wages and funds will be freed up to bring in higher quality players such as Obiang that will provide healthy competition for places.
West Ham are said to be confident of reaching a deal with Sampdoria for the midfield talent after the club revealed they will allow him to leave provided a suitable offer from abroad arrives. However they may need to stump up a sizeable fee to fend off the competition for his signature, so players will certainly need to be sold.