West Ham handed sporadic midfielder Morgan Amalfitano a new two-year contract in early-March and he now has a big part to play in the clubs future.
The Frenchman joined Sam Allardyce’s outfit for just £1million from Marseille last summer and his impressive displays throughout his debut season have earned him a new deal.
Amalfitano is now set to feature in the Hammers’ final season at the Boleyn Ground and the first at their new Stadium in 2016 – two hugely important years in West Ham’s history.
BIG GAME PLAYER
The 30-year-old’s extension with West Ham has gone under the radar somewhat amidst the chaos of their abysmal run of form – which finally ended in their last outing against Sunderland – but his signature is an important one for a club with big ambitions.
Amalfitano has proved on more than one occasion this term that he loves the big matches and he can boast goals against both Liverpool and Manchester City – the Irons’ two biggest victories this campaign. He also has a winning goal at Old Trafford on his CV from his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion last year.
In 19 Premier League appearances for the Hammers this term the attacking midfielder has three goals – his third coming against Hull City – and one assist.
TOUCH OF CLASS
Amalfitano may not feature regularly for Allardyce but when he does get into the team, either from the start or as an impact substitute, he usually gives West Ham something different in attack.
He has the ability to pull off the sublime and go on mazy runs past defenders, or coolly finish a chance. His composure, technique and skill are his best attributes and against the top teams he’s a good weapon to have as he can create something out of nothing.
NEEDS TO UP CONSISTENCY
The only slight concern with the Frenchman is his inability to hold down a place in the Hammers’ first-team and this could be down to his fitness levels, his consistency or the fact Allardyce prefers to start with more defensively minded midfielder’s – such as Kevin Nolan, who has repeatedly been chosen ahead of Amalfitano this year.
However, when West Ham play in the favoured 4-1-2-1-2 diamond formation, Amalfitano can play either side or at the tip – in Stewart Downing’s preferred role – so he is a great player to have as back up. And, if he is to up his consistency levels he could force his way into the starting XI.
More changes are expected at Upton Park next season, though, and it’s uncertain if Allardyce and Alex Song will remain at the club. If Song is to go elsewhere then a permanent spot in the midfield may open up for Amalfitano, with Cheikhou Kouyate likely to drop into the holding role.
Furthermore, if a new manager is to come in then Amalfitano will have a clean slate to try and prove he is worthy of a place in the first-team. Either way he's a great option for the club to have and he could have a big part to play in the coming years.
Do you think Morgan Amalfitano deserves more game time for West Ham? Will he have a big part to play in the next two years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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