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West Ham interested in €18m-rated Czech ace – A smart long-term coup by Moyes?

PLZEN, CZECH REPUBLIC - NOVEMBER 14: Alex Kral of the Czech Republic in action during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier between Czech Republic and Kosovo on November 14, 2019 at Doosan Arena in Plzen, Czech Republic. (Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/Getty Images)

Why Alex Kral would be a good long-term signing for West Ham

According to claims from Russian football expert Artur Petrosyan (h/t MSN), West Ham are keeping tabs on Spartak Moscow midfielder Alex Kral with a view to a potential move in the January window. The insider has also reported that the Czech Republic international would be available for a fee in the region of €18m in the winter market. 

Profile

Alex Kral started his professional career with Teplice in the Czech top-flight made close to 50 appearances over three seasons before completing a move to domestic rivals Slavia Prague in January 2019. Six months later, the midfielder was snapped up by Russian giants Spartak Moscow and Kral went on to enjoy an impressive debut season at his new club.

The 22-year-old started 18 league games for Spartak last term and has continued to be a regular fixture for the Russian club, starting 15 times already this season so far. Kral made his senior international debut for the Czech Republic in 2019 and has since amassed 16 caps for his nation, scoring twice

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 11: Alex Kral of the Czech Republic in action at Red Bull Arena on November 11, 2020, in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Kral would offer the Hammers more depth in midfield

Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice have been the first-choice central midfielders for David Moyes this season. Both players have contributed greatly to the club’s impressive start to the ongoing campaign. 

However, lack of quality alternatives in that department continues to be a real concern for West Ham and that is a problem Moyes should surely look to address when the market reopens in January.

Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass, both 33, are the only feasible back-ups available at the manager’s disposal. With both players nearing their twilight and out of contract next summer,  the Hammers certainly need to line up some replacements.

To that end, Alex Kral fits the bill as an exciting young talent with plenty of room for growth moving forward. The Czech Republic international has already amassed more than 100 club career appearances, despite being just 22. Hence, he’s pretty experienced for a player of his age and would hand a significant boost to West Ham’s squad depth in the middle.

Moyes will surely need to rotate his players later on in the campaign when the fixtures start to come thick and fast and having Kral in the ranks would ensure healthy competition for places. The youngster has the versatility to operate in the midfield and also as a centre-back, thus making him a player in a mould similar to Rice. 

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 11: Alex Kral of Czech Republic in action at Red Bull Arena on November 11, 2020, in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

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Verdict

West Ham have made a genuine attempt to lower the average age of their squad with the acquisition of relatively young players like Jarrod Bowen, Tomas Soucek and Said Benrahma in recent windows.

They have also had a lot of success with their recruits from the Czech market, with Vladimir Coufal and Soucek both establishing themselves among the mainstays of Moyes’ setup at the London Stadium.

Alex Kral also played alongside Soucek and Coufal back during his days at Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic. That would definitely make it easier for the 22-year-old to settle down in East London if a move to West Ham does materialise in January. He has his best years ahead of him, meaning the Hammers shouldn’t hesitate to splash the cash on the young midfielder.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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