Powerhouse Obiang will take his chance to shine in England

David Bowden says the midfielder can do the Alex Song role perfectly

Pedro Obiang is a top addition for West Ham and I believe he could be our signing of the summer. With the Hammers losing Alex Song after his loan spell from Barcelona came to an end, we needed to add strength to the midfield and Obiang fits the bill. He’s tough and good on the ball and impressed during his five years with Sampdoria. The Hammers’ new No.14 was an important man in the middle of the park for the Serie A side and the Italian outfit were desperate to keep hold of their man.

With the Irons being involved in the Europa League this season, it was clear that the club needed to make signings going into the new campaign. And at £4.3million, Obiang could turn out to be one of better value signings of the summer – like Diafra Sakho was last season. The 23-year-old is known to be a combative midfielder and his qualities include winning the ball back in dangerous positions and tracking back. His athleticism and energy on the pitch are also plus points.

Many of Obiang’s qualities are similar to that of Cheikhou Kouyate and the departed Song so it could prove to be that Kouyate and Obiang form a good partnership in front of Slaven Bilic’s back four. Bilic will also be happy that Obiang is versatile and comfortable playing in a number of different formations and positions.

After joining Sampdoria from Atletico Madrid in 2010, Obiang went on to make 139 appearances. He doesn’t, however, get on the scoresheet very often. In his time at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Obiang only scored four goals and this is an area he will be hoping to improve in. The Alcalá de Henaresborn midfielder has also been capped at youth international levels, having won two caps for the Spain U17 and U21 sides, while he has also appeared three times for the U19s.

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