Can new West Ham loanee Morgan Amalfitano boost their attack?
Manager Sam Allardyce believes the midfielder can, telling the club's website he can help make the team more exciting to watch.
"He fits the bill and he adds more creativity to the team. As everybody knows, we're trying to play a more expansive game, but that is all down to the quality that we hope we have in the squad."
Last season Amalfitano played in the Premier League with West Brom, so knows all about football in England, and will hopefully adapt quickly.
We took a look at his performances in 2013/14 compared to those in midfield at West Ham last season:
|Team||Goals||Assists||Key Passes||Passing Accuracy||Tackling Accuracy||Final Third Passes||Interceptions||Appearances|
|Kevin Nolan||West Ham||7||5||31||79%||66%||167||24||33|
|Morgan Amalfitano||West Brom||4||3||45||79%||66%||195||31||28|
|Ravel Morrison||West Ham||3||2||11||86%||88%||143||11||16|
|Mark Noble||West Ham||3||4||56||83%||73%||448||71||38|
|Matthew Jarvis||West Ham||2||3||30||78%||71%||108||5||32|
|Stewart Downing||West Ham||1||2||62||81%||73%||251||25||32|
The element of his game which really stands out is just where Sam Allardyce is backing him to produce, in the creativity department.
Amalfitano made 45 key passes, bettered only by Mark Noble and Stewart Downing, who played more games than he did. Only Downing made more successful passes in the final third than Amalfitano did. He also made more interceptions than any player barring Noble.
|Team||Key Passes per game|
|Stewart Downing||West Ham||1.94|
|Morgan Amalfitano||West Brom||1.61|
|Mark Noble||West Ham||1.47|
|Kevin Nolan||West Ham||0.94|
|Matthew Jarvis||West Ham||0.94|
|Ravel Morrison||West Ham||0.69|
On a per game basis, Amalfitano betters Noble in terms of chances created, and while Downing comes out on top, having another player able to help the strikers reach their potential is great news for the Hammers, especially on a loan deal.
The midfielder told the club upon signing: ""I prefer to play behind the striker, but last year with West Brom I played on the right. I like to cross the ball too, but I can also give through passes from behind the striker.
"The coach will see what happens in every game and if he finds another position for me in the team, there is no problem for me."