David Moyes is reportedly chasing the late summer capture of Cardiff City captain Sean Morrison as the West Ham United boss strives to add an experienced defender to his ranks.
According to the Daily Star, Moyes has made a new central defensive signing a high priority for West Ham ahead of the October 16th Deadline Day between Premier League and EFL sides, which concludes this summer’s spending.
Moyes has boasted an extensive list of defensive targets this summer but is yet to see David Gold nor David Sullivan dig deep or early enough into their pockets to make a deal stick, but he is confident there remains a worthy option in the Championship.
AFC Bournemouth’s Steve Cook and Watford’s Craig Dawson are both still understood to be under consideration at the London Stadium, through their experience of the Premier League with their respective sides prior to relegation last term.
Cardiff captain Morrison’s last experience of the top-flight came during the Bluebird’s relegation campaign in 2018/19 when he kept nine clean sheets over 34 appearances, adding to three shut outs in 16 prior Premier League outings for Reading back in 2012/13.
Morrison is under contract at the Cardiff City Stadium until the summer of 2022, having renewed his terms in 2018 four years on from his initial arrival in a £4million deal.
If West Ham are able to agree on a price with Cardiff for their captain, Moyes would be welcoming a defender with an imperious record in some regards to his current options of Angelo Ogbonna, Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop and recently-utilised as a centre-half Aaron Cresswell.
Over his four outings in the Championship so far this season, Morrison has helped to two clean sheets thanks to an average 5.5 clearances, 1.0 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 4.8 aerial duels won and 1.8 ground duels won while taking 50.8 touches and 1.5 shots and playing 25.5 accurate passes, per SofaScore.
His passing numbers are, in fact, up on last season’s average 17.3 accurate passes leading to two big chances and two assists, while also improving on last term’s 44.9 touches and 5.4 clearances but penning lower figures than his 6.8 aerial duels won and 2.1 ground duels won.
At West Ham, meanwhile, Balbuena boasts the highest number of tackles (2.5) per Premier League appearance this season, plus interceptions (3.5), clearances (5.0) and ground duels won (2.5), Ogbonna ranks top for aerial duels won (2.5) and Diop fares best for accurate passes (45) – highlighting how Morrison would eclipse the current ranks, particularly, in the air.
Morrison also often tends to have a strong disciplinary record, with just four yellow cards in last season’s regular Championship campaign and a high of six recorded in the 2018/19 Premier League season – his most since turning pro. The Plymouth-born defender has also only ever been sent off twice in 378 career games.