After Mark Noble and Chekhou Kouyate struggled through last season, West Ham United have been putting plenty of effort into enhancing their midfield options.
Jack Wilshere has already signed in a potentially inspired free transfer from Arsenal but The Hammers have been left frustrated in pursuit of other targets, a la Joe Allen or Tom Cairney, while a deal for France World Cup finalist Steven N’Zonzi seems unlikely.
So West Ham should take note of some rather intriguing comments made by Thomas Partey after he was named Ghana’s Player of the Year.
"At the moment, I am happy at my club but in football, you never know when and where you'll be in the next day or year,” the 25-year-old Atletico Madrid midfielder, who only signed a new deal until 2022 in March, told ESPN.
"The Premier League is a good league, it's very competitive and has some of the best players in the world. Hopefully, one day. I would like to play there. My agents are on it so I will leave everything for them.”
West Ham were linked with Partey last year via Ghana SoccerNet and the 2018 Europa League winner is certainly the sort of midfielder that should appeal to the club’s purist manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Partey is a skilful, confident and versatile central midfielder who can also play at right-back if required. He even started 28 La Liga matches for Diego Simeone’s side last season and has earned the trust of one of the most difficult-to-please managers around.
AS claims that there is a £71 million release clause in Partey’s contract but, after he flirted publically with the Premier League, there’s nothing to stop West Ham reigniting their interest.