West Ham United finally confirmed on Saturday that captain Declan Rice has departed the club in a British-record transfer to Arsenal.

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The Irons had grown increasingly frustrated with the amount of time it took to formally get a deal over the line, but they can now finally start to bring in some new players of their own with the £100m-plus windfall.

Who have West Ham signed this summer?

Rather worryingly for West Ham fans, they have yet to make any senior signings a month out from the new Premier League campaign getting underway.

However, there appears to be a number of players lined up in various positions, with Denis Zakaria and Luiz Felipe reportedly close to arriving at the London Stadium from Juventus and Real Betis respectively.

According to The Athletic's David Ornstein, West Ham have also now contacted Ajax regarding a move for midfielder Edson Alvarez, who is said to be valued at around £35-40m by the Eredivisie heavyweights.

Alvarez has been strongly linked with a switch to Borussia Dortmund this window but, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, they pulled out of the race due to the Amsterdam outfit's asking price.

Is Ajax's Edson Alvarez a good player?

Alvarez certainly boasts plenty of experience, having made close to 150 appearances for Ajax in all competitions - including in the Champions League and Europa League - while also featuring at two World Cups with Mexico.

The 25-year-old - who has been hailed as a "superb tackler" by talent scout Jacek Kulig - was used 44 times by the Dutch giants last season, mainly as a central midfielder, though he did also fill in at centre-back on occasions in a show of his versatility.

Alvarez shares many similarities with Rice, the pair having scored at a near identical scoring rate last season (0.11 goals per 90 v 0.10 respectively), completed a similar number of passes (88.7% v 86.5%), and registered 3.73 and 3.90 tackles and interceptions combined per 90, as per FBref.


There is a Premier League player Alvarez is more alike than Rice, though, in Manchester City's Champions League final hero Rodri. In fact, the Spaniard is the closest match to Alvarez among all players from across Europe's top five leagues, according to The Analyst's player comparison tool.

Alvarez wins possession an average of 9.2 times per 90, compared to 9.3 for Rodri, while they touch the ball pretty much the same number of times (100 times per 90 v 104 times per 90) and create chances at an identical rate (one each per 90).

That likeness to the former Atletico Madrid man is some praise indeed considering the impact that the 27-year-old has made in English football of late, having been described as the 'world's best holding midfielder' by Match of the Day pundit, Danny Murphy.

Where Alvarez does slightly differ to both Rodri and Rice is his tough-tackling ability, highlighted by his 10 yellow cards in Eredivisie last season - only FC Twente's Robin Propper could match that tally.

Indeed, as per Opta, Alvarez last season became the first Ajax player to reach double figures for cautions in a single league campaign in their proud history. Little wonder he has been described as a 'disruptor' by Borussia Dortmund writer Brian Szlenk Straub, via FanSided.

To say West Ham would be getting themselves an upgrade on their departing skipper would perhaps risk hyperbole, but the versatile midfielder would certainly be close to the ideal first signing to make in the post-Rice era.