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West Ham: Hammers could go big for Ogbonna replacement, says pundit

West Ham: Hammers could go big for Ogbonna replacement, says pundit -Premier League

Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny (via Football Insider) has tipped West Ham to spend ‘serious money’ in the January transfer window following the major injury to Angelo Ogbonna.

The Lowdown: Ogbonna out for the season

The 33-year-old suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in the Hammers’ 3-2 win over Liverpool on the 7th of November. It is expected that the defender will be out of action for nine months – meaning his season is effectively over.

The Italian was instrumental in West Ham’s success this season, having played the full 90 minutes in the first ten league games. He was second only to Kurt Zouma in offsides won per game, showing how perfectly the duo fit together in David Moyes’ defensive structure.

The Latest: A replacement is needed

As a result of Ogbonna’s campaign ending injury, Kenny has claimed (via Football Insider) that the Hammers will speed up their search to replace the defender permanently – instead of bringing in a loan player until the end of the season. He said:

“Ogbonna is such a vital player for them and I do think his experience will be missed.

“I think it’s just obvious to go out and replace a player who is going to be out for so long.

“He’s not the youngest player either, so maybe West Ham could accelerate the process of getting a replacement in instead of getting a loan.

“That would allow them to spend a bit of money. They won’t go cheap if they want to buy a long-term replacement.

“We will have to see what happens but if West Ham want to stay at that end of the table they need to spend serious money.”

The Verdict: A costly but well-timed replacement

Despite the statement that West Ham need to bring in a replacement for Ogbonna, Kenny also said that the Hammers “still have quality players”. Indeedn, fellow centre-backs Zouma and Craig Dawson lead the team in clearances, with 5.4 and 3.4 per game respectively.

However, Ogbonna supersedes both of them when it comes to pass success percentage, with an impressive 85.2% accuracy.

With the 33-year-old’s contract expiring in the summer, this may be the perfect time for the Hammers to ramp up their interest in a long-term replacement, and one who is effective playing the ball out from the back – as the Hammers move up in the world, more and more teams lower down the table will allow them to have the ball as much as possible.

Such a signing will be costly, but it feels like GSB and Moyes may have no other option than to take Kenny’s advice and splash “serious money”.

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Article title: West Ham: Hammers could go big for Ogbonna replacement, says pundit

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