Opinion

Kenny Lala would be the ideal replacement for Pablo Zabaleta at West Ham in the summer

Kenny Lala would be the ideal replacement for Pablo Zabaleta at West Ham in the summer

Manuel Pellegrini is surely expected to strengthen his options at right-back during the summer transfer window.

The Hammers signed Ryan Fredericks from Fulham in the summer but the Englishman has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League. Instead, Pellegrini has used Pablo Zabaleta on the right flank for the majority of the season. However, his long-term future at the club remains unclear with the ex-Manchester City man fast approaching the end of his career.

The 34-year-old has reportedly (as per Claret and Hugh via City Watch) been offered a coaching role at the London Stadium but is yet to confirm whether he will retire from the professional game. Nevertheless, Pellegrini must bolster his options on the right side of defence. Reports from the Daily Mail suggest West Ham are lining up Manchester United veteran Antonio Valencia on a free transfer.

Instead, the Hammers should make a move for Strasbourg flyer – Kenny Lala. Valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt, the 27-year-old has proved to be a fantastic addition since signing on a free from Lens in the summer of 2017. Lala has been one of the most consistent performers in Ligue 1 this season which should make the West Ham scouts sit up and take notice.

The Frenchman has been a constant threat from the back, scoring an impressive four goals as well as registering nine assists from defence. His blistering pace and dribbling ability make him a nightmare to deal with and would cause plenty of headaches for Premier League defenders. Not only does Lala excel offensively, he doesn’t neglect his defensive duties, averaging an impressive 2.5 tackles per game in Ligue 1 this season (WhoScored).

With his contract set to expire in the summer, West Ham should grab themselves a bargain.

West Ham fans, thoughts?

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