West Ham United are closing in on the signing of Ajax Amsterdam star Edson Alvarez
According to Football Insider, Premier League side West Ham United are close to securing the services of Ajax Amsterdam midfield star Edson Alvarez.
The Mexican ace was close to moving to Chelsea last year but the deal fell through. A similar move to Borussia Dortmund has also fallen through this summer, paving the way for the Hammers to make their move.
David Moyes’s side face a pivotal summer following their UEFA Conference League win last season. Having sold skipper Declan Rice to Arsenal in a club-record deal, there is a massive void in the middle of the park that needs addressing.
Alvarez can prove to be a like-to-like replacement for Rice. Not only can the Mexican ace excel in the defensive midfielder’s role but can also supplement the rearguard by acting as an auxiliary centre-back.
Embed from Getty Images
A strong tackler of the ball, Alvarez excels in ball retention and should slot in well alongside Tomas Soucek in the Hammers midfield. He is also an able ball carrier who can also progress the possession and help connect the defence to the attack.
West Ham were earlier keen on Fulham star Palhinha but the Cottagers’ asking price has made a deal difficult. The Hammers’ opening offer of £45 million for the 28-year-old was knocked back and it is debatable if they will go back in with an improved bid.
Alvarez is a better all-round player than Palhinha and could give the Hammers excellent value for money. With European football to offer, the London-based side are capable of bringing in a higher calibre of players in a bid to push up the ranks.
In many ways, one can argue that signing Alvarez would be a coup for West Ham. At 25, the Ajax star is still entering his prime and could become a first-team regular for years to come. Replacing Rice is no mean feat but the Mexican star, at least on paper, appears to have the right skill set to become a Hammers favourite.
With the 2023-24 season nearing kickoff, one can expect matters to push on one way or another. Whether the Hammers eventually end up with Alvarez or another player remains to be seen.