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Weston McKennie could be the perfect January signing for West Ham

According to the Sun, Liverpool are weighing up a £20 million move for Schalke’s United States international midfielder Weston McKennie.

Jurgen Klopp is a personal admirer of the 20-year-old combative ace and he has tipped the youngster to reach great heights in his career, claims the Sun.

Born in Texas, McKennie turned down an offer from his hometown club FC Dallas and moved to Germany in 2016, uniting with his international teammate Haji Wright in the Schalke academy. His strong performances for the reserves earned him a first-team debut in the 2016-17 season and McKennie signed a five-year contract with the German giants.

The 20-year-old, who has already been capped 7 times by the United States at the senior international level, has been a regular for Schalke since the start of last season. He has also made his mark in the UEFA Champions League this year, registering a goal and an assist in the group stages.

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Standing at 6ft. 1 inch with a towering and well-built frame, Weston McKennie is a technically gifted and tactically versatile midfielder who is comfortable playing in No.6, No. 8 and No. 10 roles in the middle of the park. While he has the height, physicality, drive and endurance of a box-to-box midfielder, the American also possesses the creativity and intelligence of an attacking midfielder.

Coming to his attributes, McKennie is held in high regard for the dynamism that he brings into the team, winning the ball back with his tenacity and determination, carrying the ball forward with pace and purpose and showing good composure in possession to pick out the perfect pass. In other words, he is an all-action combative as well as creative midfield ace who is destined to reach great heights in his career.

To put things into perspective, he would be a wonderful signing for West Ham in January. After all, the Hammers should find a dynamic combative midfielder to partner the 19-year-old Declan Rice. One of the hottest young revelations of the Premier League this season, Rice has been an ever-present in the middle of the park for the Hammers and has made eyeballs turn with his consistently impressive displays.

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However, the Irishman has run out of partners due to injuries to several of the summer recruits. Jack Wilshere arrived on a free transfer in the summer with a lot of promise but the former Arsenal man has spent more time on the sidelines than he has been on the pitch. Carlos Sanchez has also been ruled out with a season-ending injury while Pedro Obiang has been linked with a move away from east London

Someone like McKennie is quite similar to Declan Rice but the United States international is capable of playing in a slightly more advanced role. He shares a lot of common attributes with Rice – good in the air, ability to break up the play, composure in possession and accurate passing. Hence, West Ham can reach greater heights in the Premier League by teaming up the two immensely talented youngsters in the middle of the park.

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The Hammers currently sit 10th in the standings and Manuel Pellegrini’s side have a good chance of securing a top-ten finish if they can string together some positive results in the second half of the season. And they would do a world of good to their chances by signing Weston McKennie.

 

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