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William Carvalho’s pending move to London seems to have a conclusion finally, but the long-term Arsenal target is reportedly close to joining their London rivals West Ham United, in a surprise switch. The Sporting CP midfield general has a release clause of £40m and the Hammers are hopeful of landing the Portuguese star before the transfer deadline.
Slaven Bilic, the Hammers boss, struggled last term, following a futile transfer business, and failed to replicate their glorious 2015-16 Premier League form when the Croatian tactician guided his side to finish 7th in his managerial debut in English football. Although he earned them a place in Europa League qualifying rounds, West Ham neither managed to enter the group stages (after being humbled by Romanian outfit FC Astra Giurgiu) nor did they keep hold of a place in top half of the league table.
The management, however, relied on their former player for another campaign and Bilic, this time, has analysed the market cautiously before making a move for desired transfer targets. A look at their summer business so far should suggest that.
They are now keen to strengthen their central midfield and Carvalho was one of Portugal’s UEFA Euro 2016 stars who played a pivotal role in their title triumph. The signing of Carvalho will not only help them regain a place in the top half of league table but also allow them to challenge for a European spot.
Here are three reasons why West Ham should sign William Carvalho at all costs:
Carvalho, 25, has already been capped 37 times for the senior Portuguese side after representing them in several youth ranks. Also, the Sporting CP Academy prodigy has appeared 154 times for them at the senior level across all competitions. He has previously been targeted by Arsenal and also Manchester City as he impressed the big guns with his quality. A player of his stature will enhance a promising side like West Ham United who have shown ambition as well as aspiration to succeed at the top level of Europe’s most competitive football league.
The Hammers have skipper Mark Noble as well as Cheikhou Kouyaté and Pedro Obiang, who are performing for them in a deeper midfield role. With all due respect to skipper Noble for his loyalty and high work ethics, he is 30 already and won’t upgrade the team furthermore. Kouyate, known for his physicality and destructive football, has been inconsistent and highly-rated Pedro Obiang is yet to settle down since his move from Sampdoria a couple of seasons back.
But Carvalho is certainly better than what the Hammers have got right now and will pull the strings from a deep-lying playmaking role using his strong passing, intercepting and blocking traits and also with his ability to hold the ball against high pressing outfits.
£40m is by no means an inexpensive price-tag, and the Hammers will need to break their club-record fee to bring him in. But the Premier League sides earn a lot these days from several sponsorship deals as well as TV rights, and the advantage of having the gigantic London Stadium as their home ground will act as a major revenue generator. However, considering the hefty fees the clubs are paying these days for starlets or average performers, the buyout clause of Carvalho is quite reasonable in such an inflated market, what makes it one of the strongest reasons why Bilic must invest in this underrated Portuguese international.