David Moyes splashed out in the summer to add two new centre-backs to his West Ham United squad, as Nayef Aguerd (£30m) and Thilo Kehrer (£10.1m) both arrived to significantly bolster this area of the team.
With Angelo Ogbonna’s contract expiring at the end of this season, and the 34-year-old not getting any younger, it was a wise move to bring in a couple of reinforcements so that the new arrivals could bed into the squad.
However, Moyes may have spent money that he didn’t need to, with a young talent in the Irons’ academy looking ready to make the step up to the first team in the near future…
Laing signed his first professional contract with West Ham in 2021 and this runs until next summer, albeit with an option for an extra year.
Under-23 coach Dmitri Halajko has praised the youngster, saying: “The progress that he’s made in such a short period of time has been really positive, and I’m sure he can carry it on going forward at this Club.”
The 19-year-old played 11 times in Premier League 2 last season, and while making three appearances in the EFL Trophy so far this term, Laing has featured ten times across both competitions as he looks to gain as much experience as possible.
Both Ogbonna and Laing are 6 foot 3 or taller and offer a commanding presence in the air, and there is every reason to believe that the youngster could be a perfect replacement for the 34-year-old when the latter finally moves on from West Ham.
The Italian has been a great servant to the club, playing 210 times for the Irons. However, it looks like this could well be his last season at West Ham, and Moyes will need to look to the future sooner rather than later.
It might take time, and even a loan spell in order for Laing to continue his rapid development, but Moyes might well be onto a winner with the young defender, and it could save him searching for a replacement in next summer’s transfer window.