After a positive start to life at the London Stadium, David Moyes has found his West Ham United honeymoon period has expired, with a loss at home to Newcastle United and a 3-3 draw with Bournemouth reminding the Hammers that they're not out of the woods yet.

Moyes has attempted to quell expectations by insisting that January additions are not a given. But, 18th in the table, the West Ham could use a couple of astute signings as they gear up for what promises to be a turbulent second half of the season.

Despite the manager's protestations, rumours abound over potential new arrivals in East London, with Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen among Moyes' top targets according to The Mirror.

The Hammers certainly aren't short of numbers in central midfield but they do lack for some of the attributes Allen posses. The Welsh international playmaker is a solid midfield organiser at Premier League level, metronomic is his short-passing ability, dictating tempo from the middle of the park.

While West Ham boast plenty of physicality in midfield – one aspect in which the 5ft 6ins Allen is lacking – their is a perceptible shortage of guile, with most of the creative burden falling to the team's wingers or attacking midfielder Manuel Lanzini.

Joe Allen West Ham stats comparison

Stoke are averaging slightly less possession than West Ham this term (44 per cent to 44.7 per cent), meaning Allen doesn't see as much of the ball as he would hope. His per-90-minues average of 40.4 passes is, as the above graphic shows, lower than that of both Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang so far this term.

Noble is also the only West Ham central midfielder currently producing comparable numbers for pass accuracy and key passes to Allen. Were the Hammers to move for the 27-year-old former Liverpool man, they'd be making an upgrade on most of there current midfield options when it comes to technique and creativity.

What's more, a European Championship semi-finalist with 40 caps for Wales, they would be getting a player with plenty of top-level experience, adding knowhow and a quiet yet authoritative leadership to the technical attributes Allen provides.


Premier League