Guillermo Maripan is one of three centre-backs on a list of players West Ham are considering bringing to the club, according to Football Insider.
The Hammers’ Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini has been concerned by his side’s defensive performances during preseason, a feeling which wasn’t eased by the three goals conceded against Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, as revealed by the same outlet.
Pellegrini has now made it clear to Mario Husillos and the board that he wants another senior centre-back, with Aaron Long, Gary Cahill and his fellow Chilean Guillermo Maripan making up the shortlist.
Maripan started 22 La Liga matches last season, coming off the bench once, scoring twice and assisting twice, as per WhoScored.
He made 2 tackles, 1.7 interceptions, 5.7 clearances and 0.8 blocks per game last season, completing 75.3% of his passes.
Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena are the two players he would need to overtake if he were to become a starter at London Stadium, with the pair having made 33 and 23 Premier League appearances respectively.
Of the pair, perhaps Balbuena is more at risk, due to how integral Diop has become, being the main man while the Paraguayan was injured, while another indication Diop is the main man is that the Hammers rejected £45m from Manchester United for him, as reported by The Express.
Balbuena’s numbers from last season are 1.7 tackles, 2.3 interceptions, 7.5 clearances and 0.6 blocks, while he made 79.4% of his passes, so does trail Maripan in a number of key metrics.
Furthermore, perhaps Maripan’s passing statistics could improve under the tutelage of his compatriot Pellegrini, as was the case for Issa Diop who went from 79.6% during his final season with Toulouse to 86% at West Ham.
Maripan would make a good signing for West Ham, even if he would likely be the most expensive option of the three on the shortlist.
It would be a tight battle between the Chilean and Balbuena to see who would partner Diop in defence, but the competition for places can only be a good thing.
This means that if the Hammers can afford it, they should do all they can to get Maripan to the London Stadium.
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