It’s a well known fact that West Ham United are in desperate need of a midfielder in the January Transfer window. Over the course of the season, the midfield was exposed time and time again, especially when captain Mark Noble was unavailable. The Hammers have been linked with the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Francis Coqeulin, and Joe Allen to name a few. However, the most recent player linked to a move to East London, is Leander Dendoncker.
The 22-year-old is arguably the most exciting player the Hammers have been linked with this window. The likes of Manchester United and Everton were interested in the Belgian over the summer, and Dendoncker himself is keen on a move to the Premier League. This will be no easy deal to complete for West Ham, but if the board is serious enough about it, and move quickly, the Hammers may have found themselves a gem.
Some may look at Dendoncker and consider him an unknown from the Belgian league, and some may even write him off entirely. However, Anderlecht’s number 32 has experience playing on some big stages, and performing well. Dendoncker played a vital part in helping Anderlecht win their first league league title since 2013/14, ending their longest drought since 2010. The 22-year-old has also made six appearances in the Champions League this season, four of those six coming against the likes of Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich. Last but not least, Dendoncker is a full Belgian international, making four appearances for his country. The young defensive midfielder is one of many vying for a place on the plane to Russia, and a move to the Premier League could be what gets him there.
Others may question if such a young player could adapt to the Premier League as quick as we need him to in the middle of the season. These people may think that West Ham need experience, and that this is too much of a high risk move for the situation the Hammers are in. However, Dendoncker has all of the tools to succeed in England. He is a very physical player, often times bullying opposition attackers off the ball, and starting attacks quickly for his own team. The 22-year-old also has an impressive understanding of the game. He is able to read the game incredibly for a young player, and his sense of positioning shows that. Dendoncker sits like a rock in front of Anderlecht’s defensive line, and often times breaks up opposition attacks before they even reach Anderlecht’s defense.
Dendoncker has the ability to make a huge difference for West Ham not only this season, but in many seasons to come. The Belgian International possesses the talent that the Hammers need to step into the midfield right away and make a difference, but because he is so young, he’d be a great signing for the future too. Moyes knows he needs midfielders this window, and there’s not too many better ones available than Leander Dendoncker.