This is an area that causes fans to stress when they see names linked as some believe it must mean that Declan Rice is being sold. That should not be the case as the Hammers need reinforcement in the area regardless of Rice. The club shifted on Josh Cullen, Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez in the summer without signing a replacement.
Mark Noble is the current back-up to Soucek and Rice but does not possess the same physical attributes to fulfil the role truly. West Ham must use the January window to address this, and there are some brilliant options out there.
One name that has been linked to the club is Spartak Moscow midfielder, Alex Kral. The 22-year-old has bags of potential and could be a solid player for the Hammers. Kral used to play at SK Slavia Prague, and if he adapts as well as his fellow Czech’s Soucek and Coufal, he will not be the biggest risk.
Another player that the club has been rumoured to be interested in is Aberdeen’s impressive Lewis Ferguson. West Ham legend Frank McAvennie has praised the Scottish midfielder and suggested that he is ‘ready for the Premier League’. Ferguson would not break the bank either, and the Hammers should have the resources to pull off a move.
The benefits that either Kral and Ferguson will have if they join the club is the fact there won’t be any pressure on them. Rice and Soucek have cemented themselves as first-choice, and they will be given time to adapt to the league and the team.