By Anthony Onifade

29th Jan, 2023 | 1:00pm

Matteo Guendouzi could be ideal Tomas Soucek replacement with Czech's West Ham United future uncertain

West Ham are reportedly keen on Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi and the Frenchman could prove the ideal replacement for Tomas Soucek whose Hammers future looks uncertain.

According to journalist Mathieu Gregoire [28 January] speaking live on L’Equipe, the East Londoners are ready to make a big offer for the former Arsenal midfielder this month, alongside Aston Villa.

It’s understood that given their current lowly position in the Premier League, West Ham have a very slim chance of signing the ex-Arsenal midfielder.

Gregoire said [via Goal France]: “Guendouzi, we know that English clubs like Aston Villa or West Ham are ready to draw big offers, but today, we are not there yet. 16th in the Premier League, the London club, therefore, has little chance of attracting the Olympian midfielder from a sporting point of view.”

While it may seem uncertain for the Hammers to get their man during this transfer window, it’s incredibly important the club finish the campaign on a high note in order to continue attracting top stars to the club in the coming future.

And they’re going to desperately need them, given Declan Rice is expected to depart this summer, with both Arsenal and Chelsea interested in taking him across London this summer. And the 24-year-old may not be the only midfielder who may need replacing.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

According to The Athletic [26 January], West Ham are in no immediate rush to extend Soucek’s current contract following his dramatic drop in form this campaign.

The Czech Republic international’s form has dramatically declined over the past 18 months after a superb start to life at the London Stadium upon his £19m move from Slavia Prague in 2020.

After hitting 10 goals in 38 outings during the 2020/21 campaign, he’s only hit one goal in 18 this season highlighting a dramatic drop in performance levels and influence.

And according to journalist Roshane Thomas, writing for The Athletic [26 January], revealed that the club have held back on talks with the midfielder as a result.

He wrote: “Last January, West Ham opened talks with his representatives over a new four-year contract.

“Soucek, whose current deal expires after next season, although there is an option to extend for a further year, was seen as a key player at that juncture but as his form tailed off, negotiations hit an impasse and today there isn’t an immediate rush to hold further discussions.”

This update certainly doesn’t bode well for the future of the club’s midfield with two of their most established stars facing uncertain futures, which means the Hammers will have to start planning ahead for the 2023/24 campaign.

And the pursuit of Guendouzi certainly makes a lot of sense. The Marseille man has enjoyed a stark renaissance since his move from Arsenal in 2021. Across 91 appearances for the French Ligue 1 giants, the Poissy-born ace has registered an impressive nine goals and 18 assists highlighting his qualities in the attack.

The Hammers will be desperate for goalscoring and creative reinforcements this summer and Guendouzi fits the bill. Also, his aggressive and combative nature without the ball makes him an all-round complete midfielder. Something Soucek has failed to exert for the best part of a year.

West Ham will need to be proactive in the coming months, with many of their current individuals facing uncertain futures at the London Stadium. The club will be wanting to get back into the European conversation once again next season, and signing players in the mould of Guendouzi could go a long way to achieving that ambition.

First, they would need to secure their Premier League status considering their position in the league. Their pull in attracting top stars and the building of a sustainable future certainly depends on it.