West Ham United were heavily linked with Ola Aina on transfer deadline day, however, David Moyes may already have a ready-made heir to Vladimir Coufal in Harrison Ashby.
Reports suggested that West Ham saw a bid rejected for the Torino man on deadline day, as Moyes looked to add to his right-back options at the London Stadium.
It was also claimed that Newcastle United were keen on signing Ashby but, ultimately, he remained with the Hammers, and now Moyes must look to give the young defender some more first-team opportunities to ensure that his head is not turned by any potential approaches in the January transfer window.
The 20-year-old, who is a product of West Ham’s academy, has made just six first-team appearances in his career thus far, but is highly regarded at the club, and could be the ideal man to take over from Coufal.
Journalist Sam Delaney was full of praise for Ashby on an episode of the U Irons Podcast in 2020.
He said: “He’s big as well. He’s like a big unit. He’s only young, but he’s like a giant. Usually, you’re used to seeing smaller players in those wing-back positions, but he looked big, strong, he was very fearless, decent on the ball.”
After an impressive start to his West Ham career, which saw him register seven assists in the 2020/21 season and average a strong 6.95 rating from WhoScored for his performances, Coufal’s form has dropped in recent times.
The Czech Republic international averaged a disappointing 6.56 rating last season, while his performances this season so far have earned him a shocking 6.33 rating, one of the worst in the West Ham squad.
This suggests that Moyes will soon need to look for a replacement for the 30-year-old, and Ashby deserves his chance after a superb season in the Premier League 2 which saw him contribute two goals and five assists in 21 appearances.
With Aina staying at Torino and Coufal struggling so much at the start of this season, it is time that Moyes handed Ashby his first start in the top flight.