David Sullivan pulled off a masterstroke in the transfer market with West Ham United’s agreement to sign Watford defender Craig Dawson on a loan-to-buy deal.
While speaking exclusively with Football FanCast, Frank McAvennie has urged the London Stadium outfit to go all-out in efforts to retain Dawson beyond his season-long loan.
The former Irons striker believes the centre-half transformed David Moyes’ defence following his introduction, and will be the best signing they can make at the end of the season.
It was a long wait for Dawson to step foot onto the field in claret and blue, with Moyes even omitting the 30-year-old from his first seven available top-flight squads, but his importance to the side has McAvennie now urging a permanent move.
“The biggest thing for me, with West Ham, is the defence, it’s solid,” he told FFC.
“The biggest signing they will make is Dawson. They have got to get that boy’s name on the paper, he’s been outstanding.
“For £3m for a centre-half like that, he complements the other defenders because the other defenders want to play football and look good, and he just puts his body on the line, gets in front and it’s [a] good balance for the team. That’s the biggest signing that I think will happen this year.”
Luckily for McAvennie, Sullivan hit gold in 2020 by reaching an agreement with Watford that saw Dawson join West Ham in a £1m season-long loan that carries a £2m obligation to buy after his 15th Premier League start, per The Athletic.
Barring Dawson sustaining an injury during the international break, the 30-year-old should make his 15th start against Wolverhampton Wanderers on April 3rd, when the Irons will strive to get back to winning ways after losing ground in the race for Champions League football.
Dawson has proven to be a huge factor in the Hammers’ surprise push for European action just the season after staving off relegation to the Championship, thanks to his no-nonsense approach that McAvennie lauds.
The £42,000-per-week enforcer has also provided a number of crucial goals, with Dawson netting a vital third at Crystal Palace in January and West Ham’s second to deal Leeds United a quick double blow at the start of this month.
His experience and leadership proved extremely beneficial for Issa Diop against Sheffield United last month by guiding the Frenchman through the game, in what was only the centre-back’s second Premier League start since September.