West Ham United have now placed FC Metz right-back Koffi Kouao on their January transfer shortlist, according to a new report.
The Lowdown: West Ham’s defensive concerns
West Ham have made an unexpectedly poor start to the Premier League season, despite strengthening considerably in the summer, bringing in the likes of Thilo Kehrer from Paris Saint-Germain on a four-year deal.
The German has failed to impress at right-back, however, being benched by David Moyes for the match against Brentford, while Vladimir Coufal has previously held talks with Bayer Leverkusen, so a new option may now be required at the London Stadium.
The Irons have also been strongly linked with a move for Michael Keane, so it appears they are desperate to strengthen at the back this month.
The Latest: Kouao shortlisted
The report details that the full-back’s contract runs until 2026, so it remains unclear whether West Ham will be able to tempt the French club into a sale.
The Verdict: Get it done?
There is no doubt that the Ivorian has shown promising signs with Metz, as he did for previous club Vizela, seemingly confident on the ball, indicated by an average of 1.27 dribbles completed per 90 over the past year, in the 87th percentile compared to other players in his position.
However, it must be taken into account that the 24-year-old has been competing in the second tier of French football, and he is yet to really prove himself at a high level, so it would be a gamble for Moyes, although admittedly one that could come off.
As well as his ability on the ball, journalist Zach Lowy has lauded the two-time Ivory Coast international as being ‘very solid defensively’, while his caps for his country perhaps indicate that he is good enough to make a step up in his career, and West Ham may have unearthed a gem.
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