Although most of West Ham’s business was done in the summer, Manuel Pellegrini’s squad would be strengthened if he targeted a central midfielder in January.

Pellegrini should use the January window to bring in a short-term fix in that position. He should be looking at loan targets.

And Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek would be an ideal signing.

Central midfielder

With Jack Wilshere, Carlos Sanchez and Manuel Lanzini out injured, West Ham’s central midfield department is threadbare at the moment.

Pellegrini plays three central midfielders and Mark Noble, Pedro Obiang and Declan Rice occupy those slots.

But there are no reinforcements on the bench that can naturally play in central midfield.

If the Irons suffer one more injury or the players get burnout, Pellegrini may have to switch formation.

But a loan move for someone in January provides a short-term fix while the others continue their recovery.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has nine caps for England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Loftus-Cheek could be made available on loan this winter. He has fallen below Ross Barkley in the pecking order at Chelsea.

And with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic also vying for starting spots alongside Ngolo Kante, Loftus-Cheek could be deemed surplus to requirements.

The 22-year-old is a powerful, ball-carrying midfielder. He possesses natural speed, strength, agility and technical skill, making him a well-rounded midfielder.

The nine cap England international has only played 33 minutes of Premier League football this season and might fancy a loan move for his career’s sake.

What Loftus-Cheek could offer West Ham is a different dimension in midfield.

Noble and Obiang struggled to break down Brighton’s defence but Loftus-Cheek is a more creative option and he could have produced a magic moment.

Therefore, Loftus-Cheek could be the missing piece in Pellegrini’s jigsaw.

This move would suit all parties and he surely has a point to prove to his parent club.