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Gedson Fernandes is said to be one of the most in-demand players this January. Clubs like Manchester United have been linked with the midfielder, but the Red Devils’ former manager David Moyes seems to be stealing a march on them. Indeed, West Ham are seemingly close to sealing the Benfica man’s signature in January. Leading betting sites are predicting that he is likely to head to Old Trafford, if anywhere.

It is said that negotiations are continuing and the Hammers are hopeful of striking a deal. The next two days will be crucial, as West Ham look to add quality and depth into a struggling midfield.

As for Gedson, he has already fallen out with Benfica boss Bruno Lage. That is said to be one of the main reasons for him leaving the club this very month.

Recently, Lage was asked about Gedson. He said that he knows nothing about his situation: “Since I am coach of the team, players are assigned to various clubs. This reveals the work we do at home and the quality of our players. I have nothing to add. The happiness of both sides is very important. So far I’m not aware of anything and Gedson didn’t talk to me about that. ”

The first few games of the season saw him nurse a metatarsal injury- something he did recover from in September. As a result of that, the 20-year has made only 13 appearances in all competitions this season. He has made only two starts in the Portuguese league for the club, with the rest being appearances from the bench.

Last season, he was a regular for Benfica. He made 46 appearances in all competitions, scoring thrice and assisting six times while playing in central midfield. This season, he has been used on the left, right and as an attacking midfielder too. Versatility indeed is an important part of his arsenal.

Gedson is the box-to-box midfielder who likes to win the ball back and carry it forward. Last season, he had a tally of 2.3 tackles per game in the Europa League and it stood at 1.3 in the league. He got two assists, boasting of a passing accuracy of 84.3 percent.

His numbers aren’t too special by any means. But he is only 20 and has already played twice for the Portugal national team. He recently made an appearance against Scotland in an international friendly, grabbing an assist in his second game for the side. He has risen up the ranks at the nation’s youth levels, playing for the Under-15s to the Under-21s setups.

As for West Ham, it is evident why the club is looking for Gedson. They have been using a 4-2-3-1 shape under David Moyes, also playing a 3-4-2-1 in their recent FA Cup game against Gillingham.

Declan Rice and Mark Noble are their regular midfield options. Other than them, they have Carlos Sanchez isn’t being used much. Manuel Lanzini is more of an attacking midfielder and so is Felipe Anderson. The same goes for summer signing Pablo Fornals too. Jack Wilshere is an option, but the Englishman has made only six appearances in all competitions.

That makes Gedson an important signing for West Ham. The club is languishing near the bottom of the table and a lack of depth can cause them many problems. They might have gone with the tried and tested Moyes to replace Manuel Pellegrini. While he can take them out of the drop zone, he’d need the venom that Gedson brings to midfield.