Slaven Bilić has a big job on his hands after his previous season in charge of the Hammers after he helped them welcome European football in their first year at the new Olympic Stadium in London. The manager seems to have really understood the Premier League and has accumulated a squad that suits the style of play in the country. He has strength, pace and height in his team in abundance and is now trying to add some quality and ability to the lineup.
The club has already confirmed the addition of Sofiane Feghouli from Valencia and Havard Nordtveit from Borussia Monchengladbach to help them in their adventure next season and the manager is still looking to strengthen certain areas of the squad to cover all contingencies. However, this has seen the future of Spanish national, Pedro Obiang hang in the balance. Having moved to West Ham from Sampdoria just last summer, the 24-year old has not been able to cement a place in the starting XI under Slaven Bilić who is now happy to let him go after just a season.
The manager loves to play a 4-2-3-1 system with two holding midfielders and the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark Noble were impressive in that role lasts season. The duo complimented each other as they provided the team with the engine needed in the midfield. This saw Obiang’s game time reduce drastically. He managed to make just 11 starts and made 13 substitute appearances in the league last season and was not able to take the place of either of the duo in the starting XI. The manager decided to add Nordtveit early in this summer transfer window to make sure that he has a back-up in that position shoving Obiang even below in the pecking order.
This has seen the 24-year old linked with a move away from West Ham. Bilić does not want players who do not suit his style of play but Obiang is a player whom he purchased. He has the qualities the manager wants in his players and though he has not been able to prove himself, Obiang is still potentially a top-class player in his position. He will need some game time in the Premier League having not been able to adjust to it in his debut season and calling quits on him after just 12 months might be too harsh.
So Obiang’s move away from the club may be wrong in more ways than one. West Ham will take part in the Europa league next season. Over the last few years, clubs have constantly complained about the Thursday night kick-offs in Europe’s second tier competition and the effects it has had on the squad. Bilić will feel the pressure first-hand next season and he will need every bit of assistance needed from his players in crunch times. So it hardly makes any sense to let go off a player who suits your team, is growing accustomed to it and is potentially world class. West Ham will, in my opinion, make a mistake if they let go of the 24-year old this summer.
Do you think the Hammers are better off without the Spanish international?
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