West Ham given the opportunity to sign midfield powerhouse

David Moyes

West Ham United's summer has been perplexing. 

Having finished just above the relegation places last season, they really needed to go out and improve the playing squad.

Have they done that? Not in the slightest.

They made Thomas Soucek a permanent part of the furniture but have struggled to attain signings beyond that.

It's crazy that better efforts haven't been made to bring in some new faces, and as the window closes, they face a race against time to get their recruitment right.

There is still the threat of Declan Rice joining Chelsea, and if he departs, you can expect uproar at the London Stadium.

Supporters and players were up in arms when Grady Diangana walked out so just imagine the reaction if their best player also exits. 

Soucek

However, let's focus on potential positives. West Ham reportedly lead the race for Daniele Rugani and if Rice does leave, they may well have a replacement immediately walking through the door.

According to The Transfer Window podcast, Chelsea have offered the Hammers two players in exchange for Rice.

The men in question are Antonio Rudiger and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 

Loftus-Cheek has struggled with injuries in recent years and like his former teammate Ross Barkley could seal an escape route to a fellow Premier League club.

Loftus-Cheek is valued at £21.6m on Transfermarkt while Rudiger's price tag comes to £36m

That's an overall tally of £57.6m. For context, Rice is valued at £44.5m so it seems like it would be a pretty fair deal for West Ham.

Loftus-Cheek

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

If Rice departs then they'd urgently need a holding midfielder. Although Loftus-Cheek doesn't sit as much as the Hammers star, he is the very definition of a box-to-box player.

He knows where the net is and isn't afraid to get stuck in either.

Last term, the England international only played ten times because of injury but in 2018/19, he helped himself to ten goals and five assists. 

Loftus-Cheek also completed over 87% of his passes and made 0.8 tackles a match.

That might not be near the tally of 3.1 amassed by Rice, but the Chelsea midfielder is a really powerful technician.

Declan Rice

Speaking about the 24-year-old in April 2019, Cesar Azpilicueta noted: "He’s understanding the game better, when he has to drive with the ball, and he has unbelievable strength. He can push past defenders, get in the box, score goals, and he defends. He is a complete player." 

Loftus-Cheek may not be a replica of Rice but he'd certainly add a lot of steel to the Hammers midfield if he signed for the club.

That being said, they must ensure he's over the worst of his injuries. Loftus-Cheek was absent for 38 matches last season after rupturing his Achilles tendon. 

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