Is effectively swapping Sanchez for Fernandes a good move by Pellegrini?

It may not be the big-money move that West Ham fans were hoping for to reinvigorate their midfield but Manuel Pellegrini has shuffled his options in the engine room ahead of his maiden season in east London.

Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes has moved to Fiorentina on a loan deal reportedly with the option to buy, while experienced Colombian international midfielder Carlos Sanchez has moved the other way.

Aged 32, with an unspectacular spell at Aston Villa on his CV, Sanchez is not the most inspiring signing, but is he a better option than the younger Fernandes? Read on.

MOSCOW ,RUSSIA – JULY 3: Carlos Sanchez of Colombia in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Colombia and England at Spartak Stadium on July 3, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

First, a look at the stats from last season, and Sanchez – who was on loan at Espanyol in 2017/18 – comes out on top in terms of three that are crucial for players in their defensive midfield role.

Sanchez made more tackles – 0.75 to 0.64 – far more forward passes – 24.42 to just 10.14 and more interceptions – 1.58 to 1.14 per match last term.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 13: Idrissa Gueye of Everton pulls back Edimilson Fernandes of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Everton at London Stadium on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

As the younger man, Fernandes needs games to improve, but was always likely to be a backup option under Pellegrini with the Hammers.

On the other hand, Sanchez is much more suited to a reserve role because he is an experienced campaigner – in truth without the legs to play every week these days.

Fernandes’ performances have not really been good enough to earn him a longer stay at the club, and Sanchez, uninspiring as he may be, looks to be an ideal replacement.

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