West Ham United have been in fine form once again this season and are currently ensconced in sixth place in the Premier League after 20 matches, above the likes of Manchester United, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea and Newcastle United.
There are certain grumblings around David Moyes’ cautious tactical approach, but then the proof is in the pudding and the Scottish manager has brought prosperity to east London during his tenure.
Now, he’s looking to bolster at the term’s midpoint, providing the squad with fresh tools to sculpt success over the business end.
West Ham eyeing Premier League stars
According to a recent report from the Guardian, West Ham are interested in securing loan deals for two Premier League players this month, with Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe and Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips both on the radar.
£13m forward also expected to join West Ham amid talks for Kalvin Phillips
He’s pretty likely to arrive.
Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that the Gunners are reluctant to let their creative midfielder go despite his limited match action over the past 18 months. Still, Phillips, seeking an exit from a lacklustre and peripheral spell at the Etihad Stadium, could be a viable option to strengthen the engine room., with talks having already been held over a deal for the ex-Leeds United man.
City would entertain a loan move at this stage but would demand a £6m fee; whether Irons chairman David Sullivan grants such an outlay will likely become clearer in the coming days.
How Kalvin Phillips would fit in at West Ham
City signed Phillips from Leeds for £45m in 2022 after serving as the centrepiece in the Whites’ promotion from the Championship and subsequent success in the Premier League, with journalist Josh Bunting hailing him as a “Rolls-Royce” midfielder.
His time in Manchester hasn’t worked out, starting just twice in the Premier League to date and failing to cement a starting berth with any kind of regularity.
Nonetheless, he’s an immensely talented player with a wealth of experience in the top-flight and the fact that England manager Gareth Southgate still picks him for international duty bespeaks his worth and application.
As per FBref, the £150k-per-week star ranks among the top 1% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for pass completion and passes attempted, the top 8% for shots taken, the top 11% for clearances and the top 18% for aerial wins per 90.
With such a diverse range of standout qualities, Phillips might be the perfect player to gel with Smith Rowe, who is a bundle of creative energy and has a gliding gait that makes him a valuable offensive asset for his side, stretching teams and splitting the lines – even hailed by pundit Jamie Carragher as the “the best player in the Premier League running [with] the ball”.
While he has been on the fringe since the start of last season, the £40k-per-week Arsenal star has showcased his talents in the Premier League before, bagging ten goals and two assists from just 21 starts during the 2021/22 campaign, complementing this return with an 87% pass completion and succeeding in 60% of his dribbles.
With Phillips behind him, plugging away with his crisp and intelligent passing while showing his “beast” presence in the centre of the park, as has been said by Nigel de Jong, the duo could provide the balance of tenacity and elegance to charge the Hammers’ exploits over the coming months.