West Ham United are reportedly eyeing a deal for Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, according to trusted Irons insider ExWHUemployee.
Asked about the Hammers’ possible interest in the Frenchman on Twitter, the respected club source revealed that “he is one” that the east London club are targeting, as David Moyes seeks to bolster his defensive ranks this summer.
The 21-year-old centre-back had been linked with a move to the London Stadium in January, while Premier League rivals Newcastle United also reportedly placed a £33m bid to secure his services in the winter.
The 6 foot 4 colossus has recently piqued the interest of any prospective English suitors by insisting that it would be a “dream” to play in the Premier League, with an offer of around £40m likely to be enough to lure him from the Stade Louis II.
In full, Ex said: “I did some of our centre back targets on the podcast this morning and I forgot to mention him but yes I believe he is one.”
Signing a new centre-back appears to be high on the priority list for GSB this summer, with West Ham having been caught short in recent weeks due to a lack of depth in the heart of the defence.
Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson have predominantly been the first-choice pairing this term, although there is little quality in reserve beyond that duo, with 34-year-old Angelo Ogbonna yet to return from long-term injury, while Issa Diop has been linked with a departure after a frustrating last few seasons.
Reinforcements are needed and Badiashile could be the man to do the job, with the starlet having enjoyed another fine campaign in Ligue 1. In the current French top-flight campaing, he has averaged 1.1 interceptions, 1.5 tackles and 2.7 clearances per game in his 23 outings, while also winning an impressive 77% of his aerial duels and 65% of his duels overall.
No slouch on the ball, the £25.2m-rated gem has also recorded an 88% pass accuracy rate in Ligue 1 this season, while also ranking in the top 6% among centre-backs across Europe’s top five leagues for progressive passes.
Despite his youth, the £14k-per-week giant already has 118 senior appearances under his belt for Monaco in all competitions. Also, the club’s vice president Oleg Petrov has tipped the 21-year-old for a bright future, insisting that he is: “very good technically, very humble, very fast, gives a lot of comforts when he plays but still very young.”
Petrov added: “For a player of his age, playing all the games as a starter, it is a huge opportunity for him to develop into a player of the highest calibre.”
Such high praise would indicate that Badiashile is set for a long and successful stint at an elite level, with Moyes and co needing to do all they can to try and bring him to east London this summer.
The Irons’ fan base will surely enjoy hearing of the club’s efforts to bring in such a capable and precocious player in a position which badly needs addressing between now and the end of August.