Monday, December 5, 2022

West Ham United Locked In 3 Way Battle For Eredivisie Midfielder: What Will He Add To Moyes’ Side?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Calciomercato, West Ham United are interested in acquiring the services of AZ Alkmaar midfield ace Teun Koopmeiners this summer. However, the same source has also stated that the Hammers will face stiff competition from AC Milan and Everton in pursuit of the Dutch playmaker during the summer transfer period.

Koopmeiners’ Incredible Rise In Dutch Football

The Castricum-born talent came through the youth ranks of Alkmaar before graduating from the club’s academy and going on to feature for their senior side back in 2017. He has enjoyed the best season of his playing career at the AFAS Stadium so far after putting in a series of goal-scoring displays under the tutelage of Arnold Martijn Slot.

Koopmeiners has banged in 16 goals and provided three assists in 42 matches for the Dutch outfit this term across all competitions which have made him such a favourite among the Alkmaar supporters. The 22-year-old can impact the game at both ends of the field as evidenced by his average of 1.9 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 2.0 clearances, 1.5 shots, 1.0 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per game in the Eredivisie and the UEFA Europa League this season (stats via whoscored). His numbers prove just how essential he has been at the heart of the Dutch side’s midfield.

The young midfielder has also represented Netherlands at various youth levels but is yet to earn his first international cap for Ronald Koeman’s senior team. Maybe a summer switch to the Premier League could provide him with a bigger platform to showcase his talents and stake a claim in the Netherlands squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals.

Brandon Williams of Manchester United battles for possession with Teun Koopmeiners of AZ Alkmaar during the UEFA Europa League group L match between AZ Alkmaar and Manchester United at ADO Den Haag on October 03, 2019, in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

What Will The Dutch Midfield Ace Add To David Moyes’ Side?

Koopmeiners is the current skipper of the Alkmaar first-team which is a remarkable feat for a player of his age. He possesses the leadership qualities to get the best out of his teammates at the centre of the park. The Dutch starlet has scored his fair share of goals from midfield and can even create some decent openings for his team going forward. He is primarily a defensive midfielder who is versatile enough to feature in one of the centre-back positions if required.

The 22-year-old loves to get stuck in with a few tackles to win possession back for his side and is not afraid to work his socks off to cover a lot of ground in midfield. An up-and-coming midfielder of Koopmeiners’ skillset will undeniably be a dream signing for the Hammers as he has all the attributes needed to be a success story in English football.

He will not only bring some much-needed bite and steel to the West Ham midfield but also add a lot of goals to their attack going forward. Plus, his outstanding versatility will offer Moyes the freedom to tweak his formation and tactics more often in the coming seasons.

Koopmeiners will be an upgrade over the ageing Mark Noble and could also serve as a more than capable replacement for Declan Rice if he ends up leaving the London Stadium this summer. Therefore, the East London giants should try their best to lure the Dutch midfielder to the English capital before the start of the new campaign.

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