As they look to solve their left-back problems, West Ham United are interested in Fenerbahce skipper Hasan Ali Kaldirim, claim BBC.
The Hammers currently have two options in the position, former England international Aaron Cresswell and Democratic Republic of Congo man Arthur Masuaku.
Cresswell is undoubtedly the better defender, but the issue with the 29-year-old is that he’s just too injury prone to hold down the first choice position permanently.
This means that Masuaku often finds himself in the starting Xl and whilst the 25-year-old catches the eye going forward, his defensive skills are simply not up to Premier League standard and that’s become clear after three seasons.
What Kaldirim would bring to the London Stadium is improved defensive capabilities without the injuries or the rash decision making going forward, joining attacks needlessly and leaving huge gaps in the defence.
But what is there to suggest that the 29-year-old who could be available to Manuel Pellegrini for his low release clause of just £4.4m this summer could cut it in the best league in the world? His statistics in one of the world’s premier club competitions, the UEFA Europa League, suggest he’ll do just fine.
The former Turkish champion made six appearances in the tournament over the course of the 2018/2019 campaign as his team made it through to the first knockout round.
In those matches, he averaged 1.3 shots per game, which displays that he is willing to have a go when he joins attacks, something every side wants from their full-back no matter how defensive they are.
His passing is wonderfully consistent, hovering at an average of 80 per cent pass completion while playing against some of the strongest teams on the continent.
1.5 tackles per match also shows Kaldirim’s willingness to get stuck in and stop attacks from flowing down his flank, something that should appeal to Pellegrini having watched his team exposed down the left plenty of times last campaign.
And while he may be a tough tackler, the experienced customer is not sloppy, giving away just 0.8 fouls per game. He also clears the danger very often with an average of 1.5 clearances.
Debates may still rumble on about how the quality of the English top flight compares to the Champions League and Europa League, but these stats are proof that Kaldirim can perform on the biggest stage under huge pressure and with the best players, a pretty good simulation of what the Premier League is like.