West Ham United could be plotting to dip back into the transfer market, despite David Moyes having undergone a minor rebuild this summer.
Having brought eight new players to the London Stadium, there was particular hype surrounding the club-record £51m expended to bring in Lucas Paqueta from Lyon.
The Brazilian maestro came with glowing recommendations and was coming off the back of an 11-goal and seven-assist campaign.
It was thought he could provide a consistent creative spark that the likes of Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini had not, but with the 25-year-old yet to score and having assisted just three times in 14 games, it has not been an easy start.
It therefore would make sense for the Hammers to reignite their interest in another of their summer targets, as they had a string of bids for Belgium international Hans Vanaken pushed back by Club Brugge.
With £10.8m being their highest bid, there was a belief that they could surely stump up enough cash to bring in a man who was vocal about his desire to join the Irons.
However, it never materialised, and the 30-year-old instead continued to excel in his homeland. His form has earned him a spot in the upcoming World Cup squad too for Belgium, which will only likely boost the number of potential suitors, should he impress.
With eight goal contributions already this season, the midfielder clearly boasts a huge amount of quality.
Were he to have made the move to east London, or should he join this January, perhaps it would alleviate some of the burden held by Paqueta as this experienced European star comes in to help him out.
Blessed with “extraordinary intelligence” – as noted by teammate Onur Kaya – despite standing at 6 foot 3 he is incredibly adept with the ball at his feet.
This was no better exemplified than last season, where he scored 15 times and assisted a further 12 as he captained his side to some impressive results. Three of those goals also came in the Champions League, against impressive opposition such as Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.
Any doubts regarding his ability to translate his form to the English game can be removed through these performances.
The £70k-per-week star may not be a budding youngster anymore, but Vanaken could just be the perfect Paqueta alternative to not only help the club thrive but to give him added time before he needs to start truly performing.