It’s almost December, which can only mean one thing. Apart from a ridiculously busy fixture schedule that’ll severely tests squad depth, it means we’re now entering yet another period of ‘silly season.’

A period of the campaign that sees teams linked with anyone and everyone who might remotely be available in the transfer window. And silly season appears to have started early for us, with the Hammers being linked with two January signings today.

First off, most media outlets are reporting a potential return for Sampdoria’s Pedro Obiang, who has been hailed as the new Yaya Toure by some. The Spain U21 midfielder is a bit of a beast and you can see why he has been likened to Man City’s Ivorian powerhouse, but it’s difficult to believe we’d be interested in signing him while we boast one of the strongest midfields we’ve had in several years.

Unless he’s being acquired for the future, which would make sense. The combative 22-year-old could be see as potential replacement for Alex Song if we’re unable to hold on to him permanently next summer. It’s worth keeping an eye on this one – although the fact he’d cost a shed load of money suggests it’s just rumours and we’re not looking to bring Obiang in this January.

The other rumour today is a potential bid for River Plate midfielder Juan Cazares. Having never heard of him before, a little visit to his Wikipedia page tells me he was on loan at Barcelona last season, making two league appearances. Eh? Surely not? Of course not. Said Barcelona is, in fact, Barcelona Sporting Club of the Ecuadrian Serie A.

Now that’s all cleared up, it’s worth noting the 22-year-old also spent last season on loan at Argentine outfit Banfield, scoring five times in 39 league appearances, and has also made three appearances for the Ecuador national side – suggesting a work permit wouldn’t be too difficult to get if we were to bring him to east London. He actually scored on his international debut in a 4-0 win over Bolivia at the beginning of September this year.

Cazares’ Wiki page describes him as “an Attacking Midfielder with incredible technique, great agility and speed, and a great free-kicker.” Sounds lovely. Just the kind of player we’re looking for in our pretty new system. A quick image search also tells me that he looks about 12-years-old. Think how young Freddie Sears looked on his West Ham debut and you’re on the right track.

Whether there’s any truth in this is anyone’s guess, but you’d perhaps see the logic in it. The gamble with Enner Valencia – and it was a gamble – has paid off and perhaps the club believe a few more gems can be found over in South America. Perhaps Valencia has a part to play in our interest? Has he tipped us off about Cazares’ talent? Do they share the same agent? Only time will tell.

Will it be Enner Valencia’s compatriot or the new Yaya Toure? If it’s the latter then let’s make sure we go over board when it’s his Birthday. Better safe than sorry, eh?