Former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor has urged West Ham United to reenter the market for a central defender this summer.
The lowdown: Cruel blow
This comes after £30million summer arrival from Rennes, Nayef Aguerd (Sky Sports), suffered a significant ankle injury in a pre-season clash with Rangers, subsequently undergoing surgery on the problem.
Since then, reputable Hammers’ insider Hammers insider ExWHUEmployee wrote on his Patreon site that the 26-year-old centre-back could be ruled out until the World Cup.
Having only recently got Angelo Ogbonna back from his own long-term injury layoff, Aguerd’s absence has left Irons’ boss David Moyes somewhat short of reliable options in the defensive department once again and at least one pundit believes another arrival could be necessary…
The latest: ‘Go back into the market’
He said: “I feel like West Ham have had really bad luck with defenders. They had a few injuries last season as well. It’s bad luck for the player, but West Ham may well have to go back into the market for one more centre-half now.
“You can’t go into the season short, especially now teams are allowed five subs. That new rule will be crucial for Moyes to keep his team fresh with the European games as well.
“They need the options. It’s something that they need to look at in the next month, for sure.”
The verdict: Spot on
Although Ogbonna and Crag Dawson formed a formidable partnership at the heart of the Hammers’ defence at times last season, relying on a 34-year-old and a 32-year-old alongside Kurt Zouma for the majority of the first half of the campaign is a risky strategy, particularly given the severity of the Italian’s knee injury.
Meanwhile, Issa Diop continues to be linked with a move away from the London Stadium and has never truly taken the fancy of Moyes, meaning that the Frenchman is unlikely to be relied upon for any prolonged period in the starting XI.
Previously indexed to the likes of Duje Caleta-Car, Nikola Maksimovic and Nat Phillips, perhaps one of those previous targets could be rekindled by Moyes, Rob Newman and GSB before the September 1 deadline, even as a short-term loan option in order to allow Aguerd time to fully recover without being rushed back.
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