West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to a new era at their football club following the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager last month.
The Chilean takes over from David Moyes at the London Stadium after the Scot departed at the expiration of his contract, this all after keeping the Hammers in the Premier League with a 13th place finish. However, the club’s hierarchy decided against extending his stay as manager, and have since appointed former Manchester City boss Pellegrini to lead the club into the 2018/19 season.
As such, there are several optimistic West Ham fans in the Tavern at present, and they are likely to be further intrigued by recent reports suggesting that a deal for Fulham right back Ryan Fredericks is close to completion.
And while it might not appear to be the most exciting and ambitious of signings, adding the £3.6 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) to the Hammers squad is the most important deal the club will strike this summer.
Ultimately, West Ham need a right back.
Ever since Joey O’Brien left the club back in the summer of 2016, the Hammers have been very short in the right back department, what with Sam Byram brought in back in January 2016 as the next long-term option in that position, only to struggle with the demands and rigours of Premier League football.
In fact, his difficulties prompted former boss Slaven Bilic to bring veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta to the London Stadium last summer to plug the gap at right back, and while the former Manchester City star has performed solidly this season, at the age of 33 he is not the long-term answer.
And if the Hammers are serious about moving to the next level in the coming years, they cannot keep buying for the short term, with Zabaleta one of four over 30s to have signed for the club in the last couple of years (alongside Jose Fonte, Alvaro Arbeloa, and Patrice Evra).
Thus, news that they are closing in on one of the most impressive right backs in the Championship in Fredericks should be music to the ears of our resident Hammers faithful, as it clearly shows that the club are making steps in the right direction.
At 25, the Englishman could command the right back spot at the London Stadium for many years to come, and if he is able to replicate his fine Fulham form, form that saw him grab nine assists in the Championship this season, for the East London club, it would prove a very shrewd signing indeed.
Ultimately, while it’s clear that other areas of the squad are in need of reinforcements, the right backs ranks in particular are lacking in sufficient quality and depth, and as such would certainly be exploited in the top-flight next term.
So to bring Fredericks in from Fulham is not only a very good move, but also arguably the most important deal they will strike in this summer’s transfer window.
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