During the summer transfer window, West Ham were reportedly mulling over an offer from Sampdoria to allow Pedro Obiang to return to the club.
In the end, Manuel Pellegrini opted to allow Cheikhou Kouyaté to depart the club instead, selling the midfielder to Crystal Palace and keep Obiang around.
His first-team prospects didn’t look all that bright when Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez pitched up in east London this summer. Declan Rice was also redeployed by Pellegrini to further bolster his midfield options.
Then, with West Ham needing a win against Everton last weekend, Obiang was given his first start of the season.
Obiang took his chance
Obiang added much-needed pace and energy to West Ham’s midfield; he linked the team together.
Pellegrini’s u-turn on Obiang’s future underlines just how important he could be going forward for West Ham.
He offers something nobody else can
One major issue in West Ham’s midfield persists despite their summer of spending; a lack of energy in the engine room.
Obiang provides that, and that explains why Pellegrini will now not consider him leaving.
That change of heart should prove a masterstroke. He proved at Everton what he can do with the right players around him.
Jack Wilshere’s return will only help in that sense, also.