West Ham’s failure to land £30m central midfielder on deadline day could come back to haunt them: Opinion

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Why failing to sign Frank-Andre Zambo Anguissa could come back to haunt West Ham

West Ham United were disjointed at Anfield in their season opener, as Liverpool ran riot. The Hammers were defeated convincingly, although Liverpool’s third goal shouldn’t have stood. The Reds ran out 4-0 winners to sit at the summit of the Premier League table. Manuel Pellegrini clearly has a lot of rebuilding work ahead after a dismissal outing.

At the moment, building a strong and balanced midfield that’s capable of controlling the game should be a top priority at London Stadium. The Chilean manager might rue his chances because according to Evening Standard, West Ham had failed in a late transfer bid to hijack Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s £30m move to Fulham.

After a gigantic summer spending spree, it is too early to make any conclusions as the Hammers must allow time for the new signings to gel in. However, at Anfield, five new signings had started and the signs were there.  West Ham could have genuinely benefitted from having a more commanding defensive midfielder to provide cover for Angelo Ogbonna and debutant Fabian Balbuena.

The double pivot of Mark Noble and Declan Rice simply couldn’t contain Liverpool’s attacks. Jack Wilshere and Felipe Anderson, who started brightly, disappeared in the middle of the park which subsequently cut off supply to lone forward Arnautovic.

The centre-forward never got a sniff at goal except for one ball over the top that caught out Joe Gomez. His replacement, Javier Hernandez, didn’t fare better either. With an overrun midfield, there was only so much the strikers could do to get the Hammers back into the game.

To argue West Ham’s case, as proven last season, no team is infallible when playing Liverpool’s blistering front three, especially at Anfield. The Reds haven’t conceded at their home since February. However, the manner in which Pellegrini’s midfield crumbled should send worrying signals.

Getting back to Anguissa, the 22-year-old Cameroon international has 11 caps since making his debut in March 2017. He could have been the perfect midfield destroyer that West Ham are craving for.

Although he is a natural defensive midfielder, Anguissa can also play in central midfield. Last season, he played 54 matches across all competitions, helping Marseille to a UEFA Europa league finals spot. The French side lost on home soil to Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

Strong at aerial duels, ball interception and passing, Anguissa could be deployed to thwart opposition attacks in the West Ham midfield. He could also play as a ball carrier to link transitions between the defence and the attack – something that was glaringly lacking at Anfield.

Read More: Who is the Zimbabwean midfielder that West Ham are trying to sign ahead of deadline day? Everything you need to know

The hard-tackling midfielder would have been a valuable asset for West Ham. However, Marseille sold Anguissa to their London rivals Fulham. Missing out on signing Anguissa could come back to haunt West Ham. He is capable of making the difference between a midtable finish and competing for European football spots. Expect more from him once he settles at Craven Cottage.