Transfer Focus: Etheridge solves a big West Ham problem but at what cost?

West Ham United will have to pay Cardiff City £10m to sign goalkeeper Neil Etheridge this summer, according to website Football Insider.

What’s the story?

The Hammers are on the hunt for a new shot-stopper in the upcoming transfer window with Adrian’s contract at the club set to expire.

The website reported last week that Bluebirds ‘keeper Etheridge was one of the players they’d identified to provide back-up to the impressive Lukasz Fabianski.

Now a potential fee has been revealed, with the outlet claiming it’ll take £10m to convince the relegated side to part with one of their top performers throughout the 2018/19 season.

Isn’t £10m a lot of money for a back-up player?

Yes and that’s the dilemma that West Ham face if they want serious quality to compete with Fabianski and be able to step in without a drop in standards.

If Adrian leaves then the only other options Manuel Pellegrini would have are promoting a youth player from the club’s development sides or signing a cheaper option, both of which are risks for obvious reasons.

Despite being relegated with Cardiff, Etheridge’s reputation is strong after an excellent Premier League season, shining in high profile matches such as the recent 2-0 win at Old Trafford.

The 6 foot 2 Philippines international won the Welsh side’s player of the year award, which gives you an idea of the contribution he made to their season.

If West Ham are serious about building the kind of squad that has the depth to push up the table from their 10th placed finish this year then it’s players like Etheridge they’ll need to invest in.