Pedro Obiang has returned to Serie A after completing a €9 million move to Sassuolo, reportedly signing a four-year contract with the Italian side after struggling to impress in his four years in the Premier League.
The Equatorial Guinea midfielder made 91 league appearances for the Hammers, making 29 appearances in all competitions last season. However, the solidified partnership of Declan Rice and Mark Noble deterred his chances of a starting position, as he goes back to Serie A where he initially earned his reputation as a dynamic midfielder.
Return to a known environment
Obiang had some excellent years at Sampdoria during his initial run in Serie A, even going on to make 128 appearances for the club after coming up through their youth system. After some years in the highly-competitive Premier League, he now returns to a league he’s well-versed with after spending so many years in it.
Of course, there have been some changes in quality in the league, but it’s one which suits the 27-year-old’s style perfectly.
“I can’t wait to get started. I had other offers, but I wanted a family atmosphere and I have that at Sassuolo," he said after sealing the move to Sassuolo.
The energetic midfielder will need to put his defensive skills on the line in the tactically astute Serie A and need to bring his A-game in order to influence games for his new side. If he stays injury-free and continues his dominant work in midfield, the Guinea international will create an intimidating nature about the Italian side.
Dark horses for a European spot?
With Obiang’s addition, Sassuolo’s midfield gets some necessary steel which it lacked last season. Now, of course, the 27-year-old’s isn’t the emphatic goal-scorer they’re probably craving from midfield, considering he only netted three goals in his West Ham career, but he knows ho to run the show in the middle of the park.
Not only is he assertive when it comes to controlling possession, but Obiang’s impressive distribution reach will allow Sassuolo’s attacking transitions to be more consistent. With his physical attributes and energetic demeanour, he’ll also act like the tireless workhorse to regain possession in midfield and make it difficult for teams to penetrate his side.
Sassuolo have also signed Francesco Caputo, Jeremy Toljan and Andrew Gravilon to add solidity to their squad. With a talented, unpredictable attacking line and strong midfield core, they should lodge a bigger fight to the superior sides. If fortunes favour them, they could not only jump into the top half of the table but also into a UEFA Europa League spot.