West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern have been reacting to the news that 64-year-old Manuel Pellegrini has been appointed as the club’s new manager following the departure of David Moyes.
Former Everton and Manchester United boss Moyes succeeded Slaven Bilic at the London Stadium back in November, and did the job asked of him in leading the Hammers to Premier League safety, eventually ending up in 13th place in the table. However, his contract wasn’t extended by the club’s hierarchy at the end of the season, and he has since been replaced by ex-Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who of course led the North West club to the title back in 2014.
As such, there are many excited and optimistic West Ham fans in the Tavern at present, many of whom are wondering who Pellegrini could seek to sign this summer, which is why they are likely intrigued by recent reports linking them with West Brom’s Ahmed Hegazi.
And with centre back James Collins having left the club at the expiration of his contract, £4.5 million-rated Hegazi (as per Transfermarkt) would without doubt give Pellegrini the perfect replacement for the ‘Ginger Pele’.
Ultimately, 34-year-old Collins was an outstanding servant to the East London club over many years, firstly between 2005 and 2009 after joining from Cardiff City, before returning to the Hammers back in 2012 after a three-year stint at Aston Villa.
Even this term, the former Wales international earned 13 Premier League appearances and certainly did a job in the heart of the West Ham backline, with both his personality and indeed ability likely to be missed heading into next season.
As such, Pellegrini will surely be on the lookout for centre back reinforcements, and Hegazi appears to tick all the boxes after a fine first season in English football.
The 27-year-old made the move to West Brom last summer initially on loan for the duration of the season, but the Baggies took just a matter of months to turn his temporary move into a permanent one such were his excellent efforts in the heart of their backline.
The Egypt international started all 38 of their league games this term, and while he was part of a West Brom team relegated to the Championship, he certainly did his bit in trying to keep the Midlands outfit afloat – ultimately, he can’t be blamed for their demise.
And with clear ability at Premier League level, as well as a relentless work-ethic, Hegazi’s arrival would certainly bolster the ranks at the London Stadium in a department which needs addressing this summer, especially now Collins has left the club.
Thus, the Hammers simply must strike a deal for the 27-year-old defender, as doing so would give Pellegrini the perfect replacement for Collins at centre back.
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