West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the new era at the London Stadium following the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as the club’s new manager last month.
The Chilean takes over from David Moyes in the Hammers hotseat following the Scot’s departure at the expiration of his contract, this all despite leading the East London club to a 13th place finish in the Premier League table. However, the club’s hierarchy decided against extending his stay at the London Stadium, and have instead drafted in former Manchester City boss Pellegrini, who of course led the Citizens to the Premier League title back in 2014.
Subsequently, there are several excited and expectant West Ham fans in the Tavern at present, many of whom are likely to be interested by recent reports suggesting that West Brom are demanding £20 million for defender Craig Dawson, reportedly subject of a £12 million from the Hammers in recent times.
Yet for £20 million, the Hammers should forget about the 28-year-old, and target his West Brom teammate Jay Rodriguez instead.
Ultimately, £20 million seems pretty steep for the defender despite his undoubted Premier League pedigree and versatility, with it arguable that the Hammers can find better value for money somewhere else – the fact they launched a £12 million bid suggests how much they rate the centre back.
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However, while former Southampton forward Rodriguez didn’t inspire the Baggies to safety last term, he would bring a quality option to Pellegrini’s front line ahead of the new season having netted 11 times for the Midlands outfit in all competitions last time round.
Add that to the 26 Premier League goals he bagged during his stint at St Mary’s, including 15 in 2013/14 campaign, and it’s clear that the one-time England international possesses a huge amount of ability in the final third of the pitch – the sort the Hammers were somewhat lacking at times last term.
Andre Ayew, who left the club back in January, finished as West Ham’s third highest goal-scorer last season with six goals to underline their need for further attacking reinforcements, with only Marko Arnautovic (11) and Javier Hernandez (eight), another whose future is far from certain, scoring more over the course of the season.
Thus, while the defensive ranks are indeed in need of strengthening, Rodriguez’s efforts in the second half of last season suggest that he is certainly good enough to remain in the Premier League this time round, and as such would add a great deal to a Hammers side seeking to move forward under new boss Pellegrini.
As such, while Dawson’s arrival would bolster the backline, £20 million seems a bit pricey for the 28-year-old, which is why they should forget about him and instead target a move to bring his Baggies teammate Rodriguez to the London Stadium.
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