West Ham United are aiming to fill the void left by Declan Rice in securing a deal to sign Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez this summer, with manager David Moyes intent on spending his transfer kitty on improving his squad ahead of next season.
How much will Edson Alvarez cost?
According to journalist Mike Verweij (via Sport Witness), the Irons are preparing an offer close to €40m (£34m) for the Mexican player and this is the fee that the Dutch side are seeking in order to sell him during the transfer window.
"West Ham first wants an agreement with Ajax and then meet with Álvarez. It should be noted that Álvarez has been given an indication of what he can earn in London and that should not pose a problem," the reporter revealed.
Borussia Dortmund were keen on luring the player to Germany, yet it now looks as though the Hammers will meet the value Ajax have set.
Having banked £105m from the sale of Rice to Arsenal, money shouldn’t be much of a problem for Moyes as he looks to kick on from their stunning Europa Conference League success, which secured a spot in the Europa League for the 2023/24 campaign.
Could Edson Alvarez replace Declan Rice at West Ham?
Losing Rice was inevitable, regardless if West Ham won the Conference League, especially as the player is clearly too good not to test himself in the Champions League. It is now time to fill that massive void left by the Englishman and Alvarez could be the ideal man.
He could also form a solid partnership with Tomas Soucek in the process, enabling West Ham to have two first-class players at the heart of their engine room.
The 28-year-old titan has demonstrated his impressive defensive attributes over the previous 365 days, ranking in the top 1% for aerials won per 90 (3.64), the top 3% for clearances per 90 (2.27) and top 7% for interceptions per 90 (1.69) when compared to positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues.
This could give Alvarez the freedom to build attacks from the midfield, knowing full well that Soucek will be able to sweep the ball up and move it on giving the Mexican international a free rein to utilise his excellent passing ability.
With the Czech star impressing with his defensive attributes, Alvarez could showcase his ability to move the ball into the danger area, as he ranks in the top 7% compared to peers of a similar standard for progressive carries per 90 (2.54) and in the top 8% for progressive passes (7.76) while clearly demonstrating his talents for circulating the ball throughout a match, holding an 88.7% pass completion rate, ranking him in the top 5% across the next big eight leagues.
Moyes could certainly be happy going into the season having the pair as his duo in midfield, with their talents complimenting each other well.
The Ajax star has even been dubbed a “monster” by writer Felipe Cardenas and having ranked second in the squad for tackles per game (2.3) and won a staggering 6.6 duels per game during the 2022/23 Eredivisie season, this praise has certainly been backed up.
A fee of £34m sounds like it could be a major bargain, especially judging by his statistics over the previous 12 months and Moyes should be acting swiftly to get a deal over the line.