West Ham United have missed out on signing free-agent transfer target Dan-Axel Zagadou, with the player now joining Stuttgart, according to reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano.
The Lowdown: Hammers’ interest
With injuries to Nayef Aguerd and Ben Johnson, the Irons could do with an extra defensive player to keep them going until the January transfer window.
A report from RMC Sport duly claimed the Hammers were in advanced talks with Zagadou over a potential move to the London Stadium, having made a four-year offer to the defender.
The 23-year-old became a free agent upon the expiry of his contract with Borussia Dortmund this summer, following five with Die Schwarzgelben.
The Latest: Zagadou joins Stuttgart
On Sunday evening, Romano shared an update on Zagadou’s transfer situation, revealing that West Ham were set to miss out on his signature.
Taking to Twitter, the reliable journalist claimed: “Dan-Axel Zagadou is set to sign with Stuttgart on free transfer — he will undergo medical tests next week, the agreement is imminent. #transfers
“Zagadou was never close to joining West Ham despite rumours — he’s prepared to stay in Bundesliga.”
Since this news was released, it has been announced the Frenchman has joined Stuttgart on a contract running until 2026.
The Verdict: Missed opportunity
With David Moyes in need of strong defensive cover due to the injuries sustained by some of his current crop, Zagadou’s underlying statistics illustrate why he could have been an excellent free transfer for West Ham.
As per FBRef, compared with positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, the centre-back ranks in the 99th percentile for passes attempted, the 98th percentile for aerial duels won and the 91st percentile for progressive carries, illustrating his impressive ball-playing abilities.
Previously hailed as an ‘incredible player’ by former Dortmund team-mate Julian Brandt, the 23-year-old could have been a brilliant addition for the Hammers to pick up on a free transfer.
Instead, the Irons will now have to wait until January to bring in more defensive cover.
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