West Ham United have missed out on a midfielder who models his game on Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso after Dor Peretz completed his move to Serie A newcomers Venezia, as reported by Tutto Venezia Sport.
If Declan Rice had not suffered an ill-timed injury in the midst of their Champions League chase, would West Ham have pipped Chelsea and Liverpool to the post and secured a place among Europe’s elite for next season?
But the absence of their homegrown hero certainly hit the Hammers hard during a crucial juncture of the campaign.
West Ham lost three of the six games Rice was missing between April and May and, with Mark Noble now 34 and preparing to swap his studs for slippers, it is clear that David Moyes needs reinforcements in the centre of the park.
Peretz, a 26-year-old Isreal international, is another (Sport1).
After winning 11 trophies in seven years back home at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Peretz was also available for free with his contract expiring in July.
But West Ham have little choice but to look elsewhere now, with Peretz putting pen to paper with a Venezia outfit who recently earned promotion to the Italian top flight for the very first time.
Have West Ham missed out on a Steven Gerrard-like star?
“We believe we have made an excellent choice, indeed we are sure of it,” director Paolo Poggi explained, highlighting Peretz’s running power and quality in possession.
“We believe that he is a player who can be adapted in an excellent way to our championship.”
When asked to describe his own style, Peretz certainly came across like exactly the sort of player West Ham were looking for; energetic yet elegant, technical yet tenacious.
“Mine is an aggressive style of play, which leads me to be a box-to-box player,” he said.
“When I started playing, my idols were Gerrard and Xabi Alonso. I have always considered them two extremely intelligent players and I have always tried to learn from them and their way of playing.
“As far as Italian football is concerned, I liked (Gennaro) Gattuso a lot but then I became more offensive than his characteristics were.”
So no Peretz then, for West Ham.
Fortunately, it’s not as if the Hammers are short of alternative options. And Thorsby, if reports are to be believed, is available for as little as £7 million.