Why West Ham should forget about Joe Allen and sign Sander Berge
West Ham are exploring other midfield options as manager David Moyes needs a midfielder who can gel in quickly after returning to the club in December.
Genk’s Sander Berge and Joe Allen of Stoke are linked with a move to West Ham, according to Daily Mail.
The 21-year-old Genk star has been linked all over Europe, given his impressive form in the Champions League.
Standing at a lofty 6ft 4in, Berge offers height and plenty of technical ability from midfield – starring against Liverpool for his Belgian side. So much so, that The Mirror claimed in December that Liverpool were eyeing a move. With 20 caps for Norway at the age of 21, Berge is an established player already.
Declan Rice has had a good 18 months but he needs help. Mark Noble still has his say in things but he is not getting any younger and Carlos Sanchez has constantly struggled. Thus, Berge would be the ideal signing for West Ham this month.
Interestingly, Berge had a brief spell with the Hammers four years ago.
Joe Allen, on the other hand, stayed with Stoke despite dropping to the Championship but with the Potters still struggling in the second tier, a return to the Premier League may be appealing.
The Potters need to trim their wage bill and selling Allen would certainly help them do that, with West Ham in desperate need of another midfielder. Mark Noble and Declan Rice need help in the middle and Allen can provide that.
After all, he is arguably the most high-profile player remaining at Stoke City, who are now in their fourth transfer window outside the Premier League.
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Moyes needs a new central midfielder. Declan Rice and Mark Noble remain first-choice, with Jack Wilshere constantly injured and Carlos Sanchez far from impactful.
Joe Allen is a decent footballer but a far cry from the box-to-box midfielder that West Ham so desperately need. Allen is silky while in possession and has the ability to dictate the tempo of the game. But the Hammers need more tenacity, energy and an all-round physical presence and Allen does not offer them.
Berge, on the other hand, has a great eye for goal, with four to his name already this season, despite playing in defensive midfield. He would be capable of forging a superb partnership with Declan Rice in West Ham’s engine room, one that could last for the best part of a decade. For a player so young with such enormous experience, Berge already has more than 150 senior matches to his name – making him an excellent addition to Moyes’ side.
Powerful yet blessed with a supreme technical ability, Berge could form a fearsome partnership with fellow wonder kid Declan Rice in the heart of a currently one-paced West Ham midfield.