West Ham are confident they can beat Everton to the loan signing of Sevilla midfielder Maxime Gonalons, according to the Express.
However, whether they should want to is an entirely different matter, in my opinion.
The 30-year-old had a torrid time with injuries last season, managing a total of just 583 minutes across all competitions – making five starts and five substitute appearances in La Liga and coming off the bench once in the Europa League.
According to WhoScored, he is very strong in aerial duels, with passing and blocking the ball as his other strengths; while he has weak concentration and tackling.
His style of play is said to be based around playing long balls and he often commits fouls.
The first problem with bringing him in on loan is that there is no guarantee he will actually be able to play that often – he may not be a first choice option, but anyone on the bench needs to be ready whenever needed.
West Ham already have Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanches as midfield options, who could be deemed as injury risks after playing just 389 and 412 minutes respectively last season – the club doesn’t need another one coming in.
Another issue is that he doesn’t seem to fit Manuel Pellegrini’s style of play that well: he had an 82.6% pass completion rate in La Liga last season, playing 3.1 longs per game and making just 0.4 key passes per game from centre midfield.
This wouldn’t adhere to Pellegrini’s preferred style of slick and attacking football.
Finally, if this move was to come off, it could block Josh Cullen’s progression to the first team – he is now 23-year-old and having impressed on loan with three different clubs, now is the time to give him a chance.
Cullen could grow to be a player who West Ham could use for years – the worst case scenario is that he could be sold on if he isn’t deemed to be at the level required.
However, there is no way the loan of Gonalons will benefit West Ham after this season – with the impact he’d have in a year probably not even set to be that big.
With all of these points in mind, in my opinion, the proposed loan of Gonalons simply doesn’t make sense for West Ham.