According to a recent report from The Sun, several Premier League sides are interested in a January move for Nathaniel Clyne. The 27-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League giants Liverpool and has done so since leaving Southampton back in 2015, but a lack of game time under Jurgen Klopp recently has plunged his future at Anfield into huge doubt.
And reports suggest that Fulham, Cardiff City, and Leicester City are interested in a New Year move for the England international, as should West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, as landing the £18 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) would give Pablo Zabeleta something to think about heading into the second half of the season, and thus solve something of a problem in the right back department.
Ultimately, the Hammers have struggled greatly in the right back ranks in the last few years, with Sam Byram initially lured to the London Stadium in a bid to solve that problem, only to flop and now find himself out on loan at Championship side Nottingham Forest.
In fact, former boss Slaven Bilic went with experience in signing Zabaleta last year, and while new manager Pellegrini moved for Ryan Fredericks, who was outstanding at Fulham last time round, during the summer, the Englishman has struggled to reproduce the goods, and is currently out injured until the New Year.
As such, it’s ex-Manchester City star Zabaleta who continues to prove his worth down the right-hand-side, but given he will turn 34 in January, one wonders just how much football he will be able to play to the best of his ability in the second half of the season.
And with uncertainty surrounding both Fredericks’ fitness and indeed his form, Pellegrini could be left facing something of a problem down the right-hand-side – that’s why he must offer Liverpool’s Clyne a Premier League lifeline.
The 27-year-old himself suffered a serious back injury in pre-season in 2017 which kept him out for the majority of last season, in which time Trent Alexander-Arnold usurped him in the right back pecking order at Anfield.
And Clyne has since failed to dispose his compatriot of that position in failing to appear in the Premier League this season – in fact, he has managed just one senior appearance for the Reds this term, which came in their Carabao Cup defeat to Chelsea back in October.
However, one mustn’t forget that the England international, capped 14 times by his country over the years, was a lynchpin in that Liverpool side upon arrival from Southampton in 2015, missing just six league games in his first two seasons at the club as Klopp began his rebuild after replacing Brendan Rodgers in October 2015.
Add in his mightily impressive spell at Southampton, which thus earned him a move to Anfield, and there is no doubting that Clyne is a hugely adept Premier League right back, and one that would significantly bolster the Hammers’ rear-guard in the second half of the season.
Yes, Zabaleta has been excellent recently and deserves to keep his place, but just how long he can continue to perform at such a high level remains to be seen – and with Fredericks out injured and having struggled for form early in the season, Pellegrini could have a problem at right back in the second half of the campaign.
But that problem wouldn’t exist if they landed Clyne, which is why they must seek to fend off the competition from fellow top-flight sides to give the Liverpool defender a Premier League lifeline.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!