West Ham’s excellent run in December came to an end with Burnley securing a crucial 2-0 victory at Turf Moor.
The Hammers were well below par against the Clarets who took the lead through Chris Wood before Dwight McNeil sealed the points. Felipe Anderson had a rare off day meaning Manuel Pellegrini’s men were unable to get their attacking play going. Despite the introduction of Andy Carroll, West Ham couldn’t get themselves back in the match.
The performance of Angelo Ogbonna will concern the former Manchester City manager with the January transfer window now open. The Italian made a dreadful error for Wood’s opener, and his awful clearance allowed McNeil to double their advantage. Reportedly Bologna are interested in the former Juventus defender and West Ham would be wise to cash in.
To replace him, West Ham should make a move for Bahia defender – Rodrigo Becao. Valued at £5.85m by Transfermarkt, the Brazilian is currently on loan in Russia with CSKA Moscow and has been one of the most consistent performers in the Russian Premier League this season. CSKA retain the option to sign him permanently, but West Ham should offer him the chance to play in the Premier League.
Becao is a tall, strong defender who would have no issues adapting to the physicality of life in England. The 22-year-old loves to get stuck in, averaging an impressive 2.7 tackles per game this season. Unlike Ogbonna, the Brazilian reads the game expertly allowing him to interrupt opposition play effectively, averaging two interceptions per game this season. As well as his defensive prowess, Becao is also a monster in the air, winning 3.6 aerial duels on average (WhoScored).
The youngster is still developing, and his contract is due to expire at the end of next year meaning West Ham may be able to secure his services on the cheap. With Issa Diop alongside him, Becao could become a Premier League great.
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