West Ham boss Bilic turns to former Besiktas ally

According to reports from Mirror Football, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is considering a transfer swoop for Besiktas winger Kerim Frei.

He sounds familiar?

And with good reason. The dainty winger started his senior career with Fulham, after being poached from Grasshopper Zurich’s academy in 2010, and made his Premier League debut in December 2011. Frei showed some promise for the Cottagers and went on to make 23 top flight appearances whilst he was still a teenager.

But the winger never cemented himself in Fulham’s first team and eventually left for Beskitas in summer 2013, signed by none other than current West Ham boss Slaven Bilic.

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So, what’s the word?

Frei enjoyed a solid 2014/15 season under Bilic, making 48 appearances across all competitions and scoring thrice in the Super Lig. He was part of the Besiktas squad that lifted the Turkish title last term, but has found himself marginalised by manager Senol Gunes this season – issued just three outings across all competitions.

And Mirror Football claim Frei’s limited game-time has caught Bilic’s attention. The Hammers boss wants to bolster his squad in January following a poor start to the season and the five-cap Turkey international could be available for just £3million.

Liverpool v Besiktas - UEFA Europa League Second Round First Leg

Do West Ham need Frei?

In the modern market, signing a 22-year-old already capped at senior level for just £3million is admittedly a bit of a bargain. But if there’s one thing West Ham don’t need, it’s more attacking midfielders.

Despite it hardly being a problem position for the Hammers last season – especially with Dimitri Payet enjoying PFA Player of the Year nomination form – they surprisingly added Gokhan Tore, Andre Ayew and Sofiane Feghouli to their squad during the summer.

Admittedly, injuries have ruled out all three for extended periods this season but having conceded the second-most goals of any Premier League side after eight games, Bilic’s priority during the January transfer window will surely be sourcing defensive rather than attacking additions.

Here’s a look at Frei’s form during his last campaign under Bilic compared to the efforts of West Ham’s attacking options this season, courtesy of Squawka:

frei-compared-to-west-ham-attackers

 


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