COMMENT By Will Butcher

Middlesbrough midfielder Marten de Roon surprised many with a string of impressive performances in the Premier League last season, despite the Teesside club’s relegation.

Now, the 26-year-old could be on the lookout for a new club and West Ham must offer an instant return to the top flight in a bid to improve their chances of a top-six finish.

The Daily Mail claimed on their transfer news blog (Thursday, 4.21pm) that Serie A side Atalanta had tabled an offer of £8million plus add-ons for the highly-rated ace.

The two-time Holland international is likely to be keen on a move back to the Italian outfit, after moving to Middlesbrough last summer from Atalanta for a fee of £12million.

But West Ham must make a late move to sign the midfielder, after completing deals for Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez.

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Football Insider examines three ways de Roon can prove to be West Ham’s secret weapon in their aim of replicating the success of 2015-16, including how the former Heerenveen ace can offer something different to the Hammers side: