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Opinion: David Moyes midfield target Josh Brownhill is plenty good enough for West Ham amid doubts

Reported David Moyes central midfield target Josh Brownhill is plenty good enough for West Ham amid doubts from some quarters.

Brownhill is allegedly a target for West Ham ahead of the summer transfer window opening on June 10th.

Moyes faces a big summer rebuild with at least six or seven quality new signings needed.

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And central midfield is an area of concern with Mark Noble retiring and Alex Kral set to return to Spartak Moscow after an unsuccessful loan spell.

As a result West Ham have been linked with a series of central midfielders.

A report from 90 Min claims that 26-year-old Burnley midfielder Brownhill is firmly on West Ham’s radar.

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Moyes tried to sign Brownhill when he returned to West Ham in 2020 but the then Bristol City midfielder joined Burnley instead.

Brownhill is a transfer target that has divided many West Ham fans.

And it is understandable. He is hardly a glamorous, household name. And he rarely scores or assists.

His time at Burnley – a side renowned for attritional, dour football – may not have helped his reputation.

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Moyes has, on the whole, conducted excellent transfer business since returning to the London Stadium.

So we should not doubt his recruitment.

But many Hammers supporters feel Brownhill is not good enough to play for West Ham.

Some fans feel he would be a decent squad player at best. But given Moyes refused to sign any players in January because he felt they would not improve the first team, that argument does not work in Brownhill’s favour with some of his doubters.

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Opinion: David Moyes midfield target Josh Brownhill is plenty good enough for West Ham amid doubts

As a back-up to Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek, Brownhill would provide a combative style and tenacious tackling.

But in our opinion Moyes central midfield target Brownhill is plenty good enough for West Ham after doubts have been voiced.

Brownhill is a defensive midfielder so we will overlook the fact he scored just two goals last season – the same number bit part Noble managed in his farewell campaign.

Comparing his statistics to the leading defensive midfielders in the Premier League, Brownhill comes out very favourably indeed (Who Scored).

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Let’s take the stats of Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek – from the season before last in his natural position – Yves Bissouma and Wilfred Ndidi as examples of leading central midfielders known for being crucial to their sides defensively.

Brownhill makes 2.1 tackles per game compared to Rice’s 2.2, Bissouma’s 2.6, Soucek’s 2.1 and Ndidi’s 3.3.

The reported West Ham target makes 1.9 interceptions per game, the same as Rice, more than Bissouma (1.7) and Soucek (1.6) and less than Ndidi (2.1).

The man Moyes allegedly wants at West Ham made 1.1 clearances per game, 0.9 dribbles and 0.4 blocks per game last term.

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That is not far off Rice who has 1.3 clearances, 0.9 dribbles and 0.5 blocks.

Bissouma’s stats in those three areas 1.5, 0.5, 0.1, prime Soucek is 2.7, 1.3, 0.5 and Ndidi is 2.4, 1.6, 0.3.

So it is clear, in terms of stats, that Brownhill is plenty good enough for West Ham despite the doubts being voiced.

What is also abundantly clear is that Soucek is right up there with the best in the league when played in his natural position.

The stats highlight that Leicester’s Ndidi really is a top drawer central midfielder too.

But for all the fanfare about West Ham moving for Bissouma, Brownhill stands up to scrutiny against the very best in the league in that position.

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He would be a clever addition it seems and ticks all the boxes of Moyes’s West Ham recruitment policy.

A quick look at his upbringing suggests he comes from good stock too having been a Manchester United academy graduate.

Now Burnley have been relegated perhaps West Ham will be able to get him for a decent price too.

A manager knows best what he needs to make his team function. Just look how crucial the perienielly unfancied Jordan Henderson has been to that star-studded Liverpool team.

So if Moyes wants Brownhill then supporters should trust that the Scot, more often than not, knows best.

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