David Moyes risks exposing West Ham United with a £5million January swoop for Leeds United and Torino target Frederik Alves, after Danish football expert Davor Milito stated how the Silkeborg IF defender could be caught out.
While speaking with Torino Granata, Milito has likened Alves to former Manchester United and England defender Chris Smalling for the way the 21-year-old has fashioned his style of defending.
Alves has become a firm topic of discussion in recent weeks after Silkeborg confirmed to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange that he will be leaving JYSK Park in January, after receiving an offer that met the individual conditions requested.
West Ham were claimed to have been close to finalising a deal for Alves to move to east London in the New Year by BT, who noted the centre-half was pictured at the Stratford Hotel with his agent Christian Bysted ahead of a potential move.
But Leeds and Russian side Rostov are also keen on the young talent, per the Daily Mail, while reports by Calciomercato mention Torino as a potential rival suitor for the defender who can play at full-back as well.
And Milito believes the rising interest in Alves could see the Denmark U21 international’s value continue to rise, noting: “Young people in Denmark, if talented, are never very cheap, but I think that between €4m and €6million (£3.5m and £5.3m) can be closed, counting that this season is a fundamental element for the team.”
Alves’ 6 ft 2 frame, wise brain and penchant for carrying possession out from the back also saw Milito liken him to Smalling, adding: “He knows how to use the body, not very fast but intelligent in the position, skilled in sliding, quite polite right foot and a lover of game changes.
“He likes to carry the ball but not to Lucio, good at pressing and decisive in the marking, so it could be very suitable for Italian football. Of course, with the short lines he could get into trouble. He should work even more on his defensive positioning, which is already his strong point.”
Milito claiming that defensive positioning is already one of Alves’ strengths but also an area where the 21-year-old needs to improve should raise alarm bells at the London Stadium, as Moyes giving the Denmark U21 international a baptism of fire in the Premier League could easily expose flaws in the Hammers defence.
Alves also liking to carry the ball out from the back but to, seemingly, not good effect will also be worrisome in east London, as the young centre-half could become an easy target for opposing teams to try and exploit until the youngster proves he is no weak spot.
West Ham have shown a willingness to hold a high line in the Premier League this season, too, with the SofaScore heatmaps of Angelo Ogbonna, Fabian Balbuena and Aaron Cresswell each showing a strong amount of their respective average 45.6, 50.7 and 69.6 touches coming far beyond Lukasz Fabianski’s area.
Moyes would likely need to see a lot of progress from Alves in the Irons’ Under 23s before feeling fit to field the Danish prospect in the first-team, or to loan West Ham’s potential January signing out to a side competing at a higher level than the Nordic Bet LIGA – Denmark’s second-tier.