West Ham Interested In Kante 2.0 To Bolster Thin Midfield

West Ham target Jean-Ricner Bellegarde. (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
West Ham target Jean-Ricner Bellegarde. (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

After agreeing to let one midfielder go, West Ham have already identified who they want to sign to strengthen their midfield options.

West Ham have agreed to a deal with West Brom for Robert Snodgrass. The Scottish midfielder is due for a medical with the Baggies ahead of an 18-month deal. The Hammers, however, are now interested in Jean-Ricner Bellegarde as the replacement for Snodgrass.

Bellegarde is currently playing for Ligue 1 side RC Strasbourg Alsace. The midfielder is not a direct replacement for Snodgrass. Bellegarde is a natural central-midfielder rather than a converted winger like the soon to be Baggie.

The 22-year-old has shown a lot of promise since breaking through at Strasbourg. Bellegarde has already made forty-six appearances for Les Coureurs since his move from RC Lens last season. The midfielder has become one of the first names on the team sheet and can play as a box-to-box midfielder and a defensive midfielder.

West Ham target Jean-Ricner Bellegarde.
West Ham target Jean-Ricner Bellegarde. (Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP) /

Bellegarde overall in his short career has made 118 first-team appearances, scoring eight goals and providing six assists. The midfielder is still a very raw talent and has only ever played in French football. The player would have to be allowed some time to adapt to the speed and lifestyle of the Premier League.

West Ham will have to compete with Crystal Palace for the Frenchman’s signature. Despite being valued at £3.6 million on Transfermarkt. The potential fee for the player could rise to £10 million as the player’s contract runs to 2023. That fee in today’s market is still relatively low for a player with so much experience at a young age.

David Moyes has Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Mark Noble as the only senior central midfielders in his squad. Rice and Soucek are undoubtedly first-choice, Bellegarde would have to settle for a place on the bench. The Frenchman could learn a lot from the Hammer’s current midfielders and become a crucial player in the squad.

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With Snodgrass and potentially Sebastien Haller on their way out of the club, new blood is needed quick. Bellegarde could be an ideal pickup for West Ham before the window shuts again at the end of the month.