According to reliable West Ham United club insider @ExWHUemployee on his latest West Ham Way blog, the east London club are considering making a summer move for Stoke City centre-back Ryan Shawcross following the Potters’ relegation to the Championship.
Well, @ExWHUemployee says that new Irons boss Manuel Pellegrini wants at least one, and possibly two centre-backs this summer, and Shawcross is one target that they have been monitoring.
@ExWHUemployee claims that the Hammers, who must move quickly to sign a 6ft 4in England international if Chelsea complete huge £45m deal, like the 30-year-old because he is British, brave and a leader, and they feel that he could potentially replace James Collins following his official departure at the end of this month when his contract is due to expire.
It was a tough campaign for the 6ft 3in tall centre-back as the Potters struggled down the wrong end of the division, while he also suffered from a few injury knocks.
The 30-year-old made 27 Premier League appearances in total, scoring one goal and providing a further assist, but he often looked a shadow of his former self from a defensive point of view as his team ended the campaign with the joint-worst – with West Ham – top flight defence having conceded 68 goals in their 38 games.
He certainly wouldn’t be.
The Irons already have a similar player at a similar age in Winston Reid who looks to be on the decline, and they surely need someone a little younger with potential to improve.
While he may be a leader, if he lacks the quality then it doesn’t matter and if Pellegrini wants to strengthen a leaky backline this summer, it is difficult to see how the 30-year-old would be a good addition given Stoke’s defensive record last term.
Bringing the centre-back to the London Stadium would ultimately be a mistake, and would signal a calamitous start to Chilean manager’s reign with the east London outfit.