West Ham supporters have been pretty downbeat in the Transfer Tavern in the last few weeks such has been their side’s woeful run of form in the Premier League, a run that has plunged them back into the relegation mire.
David Moyes’ men were embarking on a six-match unbeaten streak in the league after drawing 1-1 at home with Crystal Palace back on January 30, a result which moved the Hammers up to tenth place in the Premier League table and four points clear of danger. Yet the East London outfit have since then managed to win just one of their five matches and have lost the other four, with their 3-0 home defeat to Burnley last time out seeing them slip to 17th place in the division, two points clear of the bottom three.
As such, there have been many despondent and concerned Hammers fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their side can get back to winning ways when they return after the international break at home to fellow strugglers Southampton.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident West Ham supporters to discuss, not least recent reports suggesting that Manchester United defender Phil Jones could be one of many players on his way out of Old Trafford in the summer.
And given the Hammers’ woeful defensive record this season, alongside the occasional impressive efforts from England international Jones, there’s little doubt that landing the £16.2 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) would go some way to solving all of their defensive problems.
Ultimately, Moyes’ men have conceded a staggering 57 goals in their 30 Premier League games this season – only fellow relegation candidates Stoke City (58) have shipped more at this stage of the campaign.
And while things did appear to get better at the back following Moyes’ appointment as manager back in November, their recent woes in conceding four against Swansea City and Liverpool, as well as three against Brighton and Burnley, suggests that the personnel simply aren’t good enough at Premier League level.
They may well get away with it this season, given the calibre of the other sides around them in the table, but failure to improve those ranks over the summer would almost certainly see the Hammers struggling again next season – they might not be as lucky next time round.
And landing Jones would represent a fine piece of business.
Yes, the 26-year-old has struggled at times in the heart of the United backline this season, chiefly against the top sides in the division, but for the most part he has performed well and been reasonably solid for the Red Devils – there was even a time whereby it looked like the defender was a certainty to go to the World Cup with England.
Jones is aerially strong and very robust in the tackle, while he is composed on the ball and often seeks to bring the ball out of defence – clearly, he has all the traits of a modern-day centre-half.
And there’s little doubting that West Ham need someone like him marshalling their back four in the years to come, as if they are going to move to the next level following the move to the London Stadium, the signings have to be ‘next-level’ as well. And Jones would certainly be an upgrade on recent defensive signings Jose Fonte and Pabo Zabeleta.
Jones has sometimes received criticism for his efforts this term, yet there’s no doubt that he is an extremely adept centre-back at Premier League level, and the Hammers would surely solve all their own defensive problems were they to land the 26-year-old in the summer.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!