David Moyes can land his eventual Angelo Ogbonna heir with a move for West Ham United to sign Watford defender Francisco Sierralta this summer.
According to Enzo Olivera, via Last Word on Sport, the Irons are interested in a swoop for Sierralta but could face Premier League competition for his signature.
The Hornets are reluctant to lose the 23-year-old after he emerged as a key part of Xisco’s defence, which has allowed the least goals in the Championship this term.
No side has conceded less often in the second-tier than Watford in 2020/21, with the Hornets allowing just 26 goals in 38 games as they vie for an immediate return to the Premier League.
Sierralta has significantly contributed to that record with Watford keeping 10 clean sheets during his 19 appearances, of which the defender has started 17.
The Chilean entered the campaign as Watford’s sixth-choice centre-half and played only three minutes in the club’s first 19 league games, before launching an incredible rise following an injury for William Troost-Ekong and bruised knee for Christian Kabasele.
West Ham could face rival competition for Sierralta with Crystal Palace also touted as a potential destination, after Enzo Olivera recently claimed that London outfits represented two of the four clubs who are closely following the £7,300-per-week enforcer’s situation.
Sierralta joined Watford from Serie A side Udinese Calcio on a three-year contract last September, and would certainly cost more than his £500,000 Transfermarkt valuation if any side wishes to lure him away from Vicarage Road.
It remains to be seen how highly Watford would value Sierralta and what impact a return to the Premier League would have on the Hornet’s position, but the Chilean’s incredible turn of form to establish himself as a regular for Xisco is right to attract West Ham’s interest.
Sierralta has been dominating second-tier offences since his breakthrough at Vicarage Road in December, with EFL pundit Dean Ashton heaping praise on the 23-year-old after dwarfing Birmingham City last Saturday.
“Sierralta was absolutely outstanding today, and he has been outstanding ever since he walked through the door” Ashton said on EFL on Quest. “Seventeen starts for him now and Watford have only conceded ten goals!
“And today, up against [Lukas] Jutkiewicz, he won every duel, every header, most clearances. [It was a] dominating performance against a top forward.”
Sierralta won five out of five aerial duels and his sole ground challenge against Birmingham prior to the international break, while Jutkiewicz lost four of nine combined duels and fellow forward Scott Hogan lost all nine of his contests, per SofaScore.
The Watford star’s success in the duel led to Sierralta’s highest SofaScore match rating in 10 appearances at 7.5 out of 10, a score that the Chilean has only eclipsed on one occasion since moving to Vicarage Road with a 7.9 achieved against Barnsley in January.
West Ham successfully testing Watford’s resolve at the end of the season and signing Sierralta would seemingly give Moyes a strong long-term heir to Ogbonna, who will enter the final 12-months of his £70k-p/w contract in June and will turn 33 in May.
Moyes has lauded Ogbonna for his “magnificent” performances this season, but there is only so much longer that he can rely on the Italian so signing his replacement early could be a wise way to go if the fee is right.
AND in other news, West Ham are adamant a deal to sign a £100k-p/w “revelation” will be reached…