David Sullivan must strive to see West Ham United seal a deal with Watford for Craig Dawson, after David Moyes voiced his intent to retain the defender beyond his loan spell.
Speaking following Monday’s 2-0 win over Leeds United, via quotes by football.london, Moyes praised Dawson for his performances and confirmed that he is likely to sign with the club on a permanent deal.
Dawson moved to the London Stadium on a season-long loan in October as a last-ditch domestic transfer, in a move long-said to include a £2m option to purchase.
Moyes has stated that the terms struck with Watford also include a clause dependent on the number of appearances Dawson makes throughout the 2020/21 campaign, a total which the £42,000-per-week enforcer is getting close to.
Monday’s affair marked the centre-half’s 14th outing with the Irons across all competitions, having featured in all bar one fixture since making his debut at Southampton in December.
Moyes now hopes to have the 30-year-old to call on next season, regardless of Dawson reaching the set number of games needed for the clause to be activated.
“There is a good chance, although we are not quite there yet, but there is a clause in it after a certain amount of games and we are getting very close to that number. His performances, his attitude and determination are certainly worthy of that anyway,” the Irons boss said.
“We brought him in, it took him a while until the Southampton game – I think it was – before he got a start, but that was because of the form of Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna – but he has come in and added goals to us as well and his experience has been really important, and he is playing really well this season.”
Moyes has clearly been impressed with what Dawson has brought to West Ham since October, and is rightly keen to retain the Watford enforcer who is not out of contract at Vicarage Road until 2023.
Thankfully for the Irons, they have a clause in their deal with the Hornets to purchase the £3.5m-rated titan after a set number of games. But Sullivan should be lining up a permanent switch even if, for whatever reason, Dawson fails to trigger the terms already agreed.
The Telegraph’s Matt Law lauded the defender for producing an “outstanding” performance against Leeds on Monday, having denied the Elland Road natives a goal despite a result being there for Marcelo Bielsa’s side to take.
Former Premier League striker Chris Sutton also praised the impact Dawson has had on West Ham’s defence, telling BBC Radio 5 Live (8/3, 20:56): “West Ham had a dreadful defensive record last season, and I think that shows how important Craig Dawson has been. He is a calming influence on them.”
He offers more than just being a leader to his teammates too, with Dawson doing the gritty work to keep opponents out, such as his goal-line clearance to deny Leeds that BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks claimed “must have sickened” the Whites.
The display Dawson produced was typical of the 30-year-old in claret and blue, as he claimed a sixth Premier League clean sheet in 12 games as well as a third goal – West Ham only kept eight shut outs all season during the delayed 2019/20 campaign.
If Moyes and Sullivan were to suddenly pass up on keeping a player who has helped turn around the club’s fortunes so much, questions would rightly be raised.
AND in other news, West Ham eye summer swoop for £35k-p/w gem with “boundless energy”…f