West Ham have been offered the opportunity to sign New York Red Bulls centre-back Aaron Long, according to Sky Sports.
The 26-year-old has represented USMNT 11 times, including five appearances in the Gold Cup as the USA reached the final.
The Hammers currently have Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop as starters in his position, with Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid in reserve.
He has averaged 0.7 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 5.7 clearances and 0.8 blocks per match during the 2019 campaign (as per WhoScored).
Ogbonna is the player Long could be most likely to replace, as Winston Reid’s position at London Stadium is dependent on his performances in pre-season, as reported by Football Insider, while Ogbonna had been linked with a move away earlier in the window by The Daily Mail to help raise funds.
The Italian made 20 starts and four substitute appearances last season, averaging 1.3 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 4.1 clearances and 0.8 blocks per game, so the two certainly weren’t worlds apart considering the difference in top-level experience.
It would be a risk to sell Ogbonna in order to bring in Long, though there have been times in recent seasons where the 31-year-old has looked less than reliable, being slammed by pundit Paul Merson.
Having signed Balbuena for just £6.5 million last summer, as reported by Sky Sports at the time, it has been shown that a defender doesn’t have to be a big name to come in and help the Hammers’ backline. Indeed, as a potential back-up with more of his career ahead of him than someone like Ogbonna, it could be a good way to refresh their options.
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