Former England striker Kevin Phillips has tipped West Ham to complete the signing of Nathan Aké in January, as per Football Insider.
The Lowdown: Defensive depth needed
90min have previously reported that West Ham have identified the Manchester City defender as a January transfer target following the injuries to centre-back pairing Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma. It is expected that the Hammers will pursue a loan deal with an obligation to buy.
Zouma has been a huge loss for the defensive line due to his domination in clearances made, leading the side with an average of 5.2 per game. With the Frenchman reportedly out for up to 12 weeks, it is vital that the Irons provide depth in the centre-back position, as David Moyes has just Issa Diop and Craig Dawson at his disposal at the moment.
The Latest: Hammers to pursue Aké
As per Football Insider, former England international Phillips has tipped West Ham to complete the signing of Aké in the January transfer window.
He said: “That’s a no-brainer for West Ham. He’s not getting a huge amount of game time at Man City. He’s the type of player who needs to be playing regularly. Ake is a brilliant defender.
“With Zouma and Ogbonna out injured he would be a really good addition to their squad.
“He would give them some valuable experience as well, having played in Europe and won the title with Man City.”
The Verdict: A good move for both parties
West Ham are in desperate need of a centre-back following the injuries sustained by Zouma and Ogbonna. Providing depth to the defensive line will be crucial with the club’s hectic winter schedule, as they remain in the Europa League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
Liverpool colossus Virgil van Dijk hailed his Dutch teammate as ‘underrated‘ and even name-checked him when asked to name who he felt were the best defenders in the world. Meanwhile, the City defender’s former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte once described a young Aké as looking ‘like a veteran’.
Such praise clearly illustrates the player’s quality and suggests how he has the ability to contribute to West Ham’s top four push, if he makes the move to east London.
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