Middlesbrough defender George Friend put in an impressive display in his side’s goalless draw against Aston Villa in the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final tie at Villa Park last week, and we suggested he could be a good replacement for West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell at the London Stadium.
The 30-year-old shone from both a defensive point of view – snuffing out the threat from Hammers loanee Robert Snodgrass on the right for Villa – as he won 12 aerial duels and made seven tackles, while he showed the impact he can make in the final third as well with three crosses for the Teesside outfit.
Meanwhile, Cresswell endured a difficult campaign with the east London club and found himself filling in as a left-sided centre-back in a three-man defence for the majority of the time under David Moyes in recent months, often coming under criticism from his own fans on Twitter for his below-par performances.
The Irons certainly need someone else in that position if they are to carry on playing in that formation, and Friend could be the answer seeing as his 6ft 2in tall frame means that he can fill in as a centre-back as well as playing at full-back.
We asked West Ham supporters to vote on our poll to see whether they would like their club to sign Friend this summer, and they were completely split with 50% saying they wouldn’t back a deal.