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West Ham had a howler on Tyrell Malacia

West Ham United spent much of the summer window chasing a new left-back recruit, with the likes of Borna Sosa and David Raum having been linked with a move to the London Stadium, before the eventual capture of Emerson Palmeri from Chelsea.

While the Italy international has provided strong competition for the ageing Aaron Cresswell, there are still perhaps doubts over his suitability at both the club and in English football, having spent the past few seasons cast out at their Premier League rivals.

The Brazil-born defender made just 71 appearances during his four-year stint at Stamford Bridge – only 54 of which came from the start – having spent the 2021/22 campaign on loan at Ligue 1 side, Lyon.

Equally, at 28, the former Roma man is potentially more of a short-term fit for David Moyes’ side, with his arrival late in the window perhaps suggesting he hadn’t been a first choice option for the Irons and sporting director Rob Newman.

One man who may well have provided a better and more youthful option was that of Tyrell Malacia, with the new Manchester United gem having reportedly been a target for GSB over the summer prior to his £14.7m move to Old Trafford.

According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, West Ham had been eyeing a move for the promising Dutchman, with the transfer insider stating: “What I can reveal is that the day after the official agreement between Lyon and Malacia, also West Ham – before signing Emerson Palmieri, of course, a long time before – tried to enter into the story for Tyrell Malacia.

“They had a direct contact with the player’s side then no agreement [between] Malacia and West Ham, he decided to go to Lyon but Manchester United hijacked the deal and so changing the whole story for the Dutch left-back.”

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That failure to land the 23-year-old from former club Feyenoord has potentially already come back to bite Moyes and co, with the diminutive menace proving an instant hit at the Theatre of Dreams following what’s been a string of impressive displays to date.

The Netherlands international – as well as Red Devils teammate Lisandro Martinez – has caught the eye as a result of his “composure and relentless tenacity”, as described by journalist Jonathan Shrager, after ousting Luke Shaw from his starting berth following a tough start to the season for Erik ten Hag’s men.

The six-cap “pitbull” – as lauded by national team coach Louis Van Gaal – has showcased his dogged defensive determination in recent times, highlighted by the fact that he ranks in the top 11% for tackles made among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, while the aforementioned Emerson ranks in just the top 60% for the same metric.

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Malacia has also averaged 2.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game in his six league outings so far this term, with that a far better return than that of the Hammers man who has averaged zero tackles and just 0.5 interceptions, as per SofaScore.

For a “defensive manager” such as Moyes – as dubbed by talkSPORT’s Danny Murphy – it may well be a concern that his new addition is producing such poor statistics in the backline, with it a potential source of frustration that Newman was unable to sign the emerging Old Trafford hero instead.

Article title: West Ham had a howler on Tyrell Malacia

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