Club Brugge midfielder Hans Vanaken is reportedly keen to complete a move to West Ham United this summer.
According to Sascha Tavolieri on Twitter, West Ham United have been dealt a major boost in their pursuit of 29-year-old Club Brugge midfielder Hans Vanaken in the 2022 summer transfer window.
West Ham United have made some astute moves this summer but could do with a few more as they look to build upon the recent successes. One position that needs an addition is in attacking midfield, where the Hammers lack a reliable option.
Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini have had their moments for the Hammers but are far from consistent performers. Signing Hans Vanaken will address that issue for West Ham and give David Moyes an experienced player who can slot straight into the playing XI.
Also capable of playing in central midfield or on the left, Vanaken will offer Moyes plenty of options on how best to deploy him. This is especially the case, given the uncertainty surrounding Declan Rice’s long-term future at the club. A full international with Belgium, the 29-year-old is a proven talent at the top level and gives West Ham an infusion of quality.
Vanaken has never played for a top European club, and at 29, it could be his final opportunity to move to the Premier League. He is aware of it and is pushing Brugge to accept West Ham’s proposal. The Belgian giants have already rejected a bid from the Hammers, and now it could depend on whether they yield to their midfield star’s overtures.
A good dribbler of the ball, Vanaken is capable of progressing the ball upfield. Add to it his ability to thread through passes, and it could open up new avenues of attack that can complement Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio and new signing Gianluca Scamacca. The Belgian international is also strong aerially, and alongside Tomas Soucek, he can help win a lot of balls in the air.
Vanaken is also an excellent free-kick taker, adding a new dimension to West Ham’s game. The Hammers fell off in the business end of the 2021/22 campaign thanks to an overreliance on Bowen and Antonio for goals. Adding Scamacca and potentially Vanaken to the squad will hand Moyes and co the depth and quality to make a difference this season.