Why West Ham should reignite their interest in Tom Cairney
Having signed a contract extension in the summer of 2018 after leading Fulham to promotion via the playoffs by scoring the winning goal in the Wembley final against Aston Villa, Tom Cairney attracted the attention of West Ham.
One of the stars in the Championship, Tom Cairney has found it tough to replicate his form in the Premier League as Fulham continue to fight against relegation. The midfielder has neither enjoyed a run of games under Claudio Ranieri to get back his mojo nor has he played in his preferred position in the midfield.
Often shunted out to the wing and removed from his favoured central midfield position, he has endured a difficult last few months at Craven Cottage.
As the Cottagers appear to be heading back down to the Championship, West Ham will have a glorious chance to finally get their man in the summer. Cairney will likely depart Fulham if they get relegated and a move to West Ham would be the best for his career.
Declan Rice has established himself as a regular starter in the midfield under Manuel Pellegrini alongside skipper Mark Noble.
However, Noble is 31 and while he has done well this season, the Englishman is slowly starting to feel his legs. Although Cairney wouldn’t be a long-term replacement for Noble, he can be relied upon, unlike Jack Wilshere.
A classy operator of the ball, Cairney can pick a pass, unlock the tightest of defences and has the guile to operate as a No.10. The former Blackburn Rovers star can spark creativity and add more fluency to West Ham’s build-up play in the final third.
He is tenacious and hard-working, and also possesses the ball retention skills and the intelligence to get into promising goalscoring positions.
Cairney also has a hammer of a left-foot that is capable of delivering rockets from long distances. He has the ability to hold the ball in the tightest of situations and his wonderful technique allows him to run comfortably with it. Moreover, the Hammers would get a leader and a vocal presence in the dressing room.
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To put things into perspective, Cairney would be a brilliant signing for West Ham. Even though the Hammers did not manage to strike a deal for the 28-year-old in the summer, they should reignite their interest in him to bolster their midfield options ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.