David Sullivan must sanction a January transfer for rumoured West Ham United target Rico Henry amid claims David Moyes snubbed a summer deal for the Brentford full-back.
According to The Athletic, Moyes turned away the chance to sign Henry in the off-season after deciding to prioritise the arrival of an additional centre-half.
The Hammers were in contention to sign the 23-year-old amid rival interest from long-term suitors Aston Villa, while more Premier League clubs are poised to express their interest in a mid-season swoop once the winter market opens for business.
Henry joined Brentford for what now appears a bargain £1.5m in 2016, and is expected to follow Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma in sealing lucrative top-flight transfers after the Bees agreed £28m and £25m deals for the pair this summer.
West Ham have scouted Henry to assess his suitability for a move to the London Stadium but chose against submitting an offer ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, only to see the Birmingham-born full-back turn in consistently impressive displays in the Championship.
It remains to be seen if Moyes is more open to a move in the January window or if Sullivan does present a formal offer after West Ham lost first-choice left-back Arthur Masuaku for the foreseeable future following knee surgery.
Moyes initially favoured a return to wide defensive duties for Aaron Cresswell following Masuaku’s operation, but failed to see the former England international thrive and turned to academy product Ben Johnson for Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Henry has shown throughout the season that he can serve as Moyes’ long-term Masuaku replacement, with the former U20 international offering one goal and two assists from 0.3 shots and 0.7 key balls a game over his 20 Championship outings to date, per SofaScore.
He additionally plays 0.3 accurate crosses, 32.5 accurate passes, makes 0.9 successful dribbles and wins 5.2 duels, while helping to eight clean sheets with 1.3 successful tackles, 1.2 clearances, 0.9 interceptions and commits just 0.4 fouls a game.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank firmly believes the Walsall product, who made his senior debut aged 17, is among the best left-back’s in the second-tier, and he’d certainly be a valuable addition to West Ham in January.
“Is he the best in the division? Others must judge that, but he’s definitely up there among the best,” Frank said, via quotes by The Athletic.
“You always love your own children. He’s one of my 25 sons in my squad. Of course, I absolutely love him.”
AND in other news, a West Ham gem who’s “not been at the races” betrayed David Moyes vs Brighton.