West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are reasonably upbeat heading into 2018 despite a testing 2017, which saw manager Slaven Bilic relieved of his duties back in November to be replaced by former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes.
The Hammers went into the New Year in the bottom three following Bournemouth’s 2-1 victory over Everton on December 30, just a few days after the Cherries salvaged a point from their clash with the Hammers thanks to Callum Wilson’s injury-time strike. Nonetheless, there has been some optimism among our resident West Ham fans given their team’s run of just one defeat in five games to end the calendar year, yet they will be aware that their side must continue picking up points if they are to stave off relegation and indeed preserve their top-flight status come the end of the campaign.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for those Hammers fans lining up at the bar to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking striker Diafra Sakho with a move away in the January transfer window.
The 28-year-old has failed to make a single Premier League start so far this term but has 14 times come off the bench for the East London outfit, this all after a summer transfer window which saw the Senegal international come close to leaving the club, only for no move to materialise.
Yet fellow Premier League strugglers Swansea City are seeking to lure Sakho away from the London Stadium this month, and although it’s a move which appears to be in the best interests of the player and indeed West Ham, only a swap deal involving Swans centre-back Alfie Mawson should tempt them into a move.
The 23-year-old has been excellent for the South Wales outfit since breaking into the first team at the start of 2017, and would no doubt bolster a West Ham backline that have shipped 38 goals in the Premier League this term, only Stoke City (47) have conceded more.
And although Moyes has certainly made an impact defensively with clean sheets against Arsenal and Chelsea, doubts still remain about their capabilities having conceded three against a goal-shy Newcastle United, as well as three against a Bournemouth team that until that point had managed three or more goals in a game only once this season.
There’s little doubt that Mawson, who has played every single minute of Swansea’s 21 games this term, would significantly improve the Hammers’ backline, both in the second half of the season and the years to come, while losing Sakho wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Yes, West Ham’s tally of 22 goals isn’t particularly great at this stage of the campaign, but there’s a reason that neither Moyes nor Slaven Bilic have started him in the Premier League this term, and with just two goals in 14 substitute appearances, he’s hardly pulling trees down off the bench either.
The Hammers are unlikely going to want to sell Sakho to Swansea given that they are just two places and two points below them in the table, but acquiring Mawson in return would be a good deal for Moyes’ side.
Not only would it bolster their own backline, but it would significantly weaken the Swans’ defence, which has been a key factor in keeping them in with a chance so far this term.
So while selling Sakho is the right move for both the player and the club, only a swap deal for the £5.4 million-rated Mawson (as per Transfermarkt) should tempt them into parting with the 28-year-old.
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