Sunday, February 5, 2023

Havard Nordtveit Leaves The Premier League: Good Riddance Or A Blow To West Ham United?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

Havard Nordtveit joins the list of another Premier League failure who failed to cope with the fast-paced English game, as he makes his way back to the Bundesliga after signing a contract with TSG Hoffenheim until 2022. The Norwegian midfielder has joined with the Bundesliga outfit for an undisclosed fee.

So was it a good riddance for the Hammers? Or did Julian Nagelsmann land another transfer gem from the market this season?

Nordtveit moved to the Premier League only last season, after making an impression with Borussia M’Gladbach the season before. He was termed as a great signing by the fans and the experts alike and was expected to prosper.

However, th26-year-old midfielder completely failed to make his mark in the Premier League. He flopped terribly, making only 16 appearances, only eight of which were full games. The performances of fellow West Ham midfielders such as Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble or Pedro Obiang were good enough to convince manager Slaven Bilic, resulting in fewer opportunities for the Norway midfielder.

It clearly hasn’t been a good season for him at West Ham, where he managed to create only four chances. Also, the aggressive nature of the Premier League substantially decreased his relatively high passing rate. Previously at Gladbach, Nordtveit used to average a near impressive 82% passing accuracy while managing to win 83 of his 136 headed duels in his last season in the Bundesliga, that’s 63% win ratio. This season, his passing average is pretty sluggish at 77% but what’s more terrible is the fact that he completed only 302 throughout the course of the season. He also took part in only 23 headed duels and made 59 defensive actions overall, that’s about four defensive actions per game.

Also considering the breakout of young Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes (he is in fact, a cousin of Gelson Fernandes, who recently signed with Eintracht Frankfurt), who was a constant figure in West Ham midfield for the final few matches, it was truly a good riddance for the West Ham and the Hammers fans will be happy with anything they get for the Norwegian midfielder.

Whilst for Hoffenheim, it’s also a really smart move from manager Julian Nagelsmann. TSG were in desperate need of a calm and composed midfielder after the departure of Sebastian Rudy to FC Bayern. Young Nagelsmann has already proved it in the past that he has the ability to reinvigorate or reform players with his own handwritten philosophy and rigid tactical nous. Such has been the case with the likes of Sandro Wagner, Benjamin Hubner, Kerem Demirbay or even Kevin Vogt. So the acquisition of Nordveit will somewhat strengthen their squad as they ready themselves for Champions League football next season.

Stats courtesy: Whoscored

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