West Ham signing Ryan Shawcross would be a catastrophic start to Pellegrini’s reign

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.

What’s the word, then?

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey and Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross in action

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.

How did Shawcross do last season?

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.

Would he be a good signing for West Ham?

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.