The report suggests that the Midlands outfit are keen on bolstering their defensive ranks following the long-term injury to summer signing Diego Carlos, with Villa feeling that they can hand the former Watford man more regular game time were he to jump ship.
The piece goes on to add that while manager David Moyes is reluctant to see the 6 foot 2 brute depart, the player himself is said to be ‘unhappy’ with life at the London Stadium, with just a year remaining on his current deal.
That news has no doubt come as a shock to those of a Hammers persuasion, with the club seemingly unable to afford to lose such a “reliable” asset – in the words of former West Bromwich Albion teammate Ahmed Hegazi – so late in the window.
Although Moyes and co have moved to strengthen their backline this summer with the additions of Thilo Kehrer and Nayef Aguerd – which could be the source of Dawson’s unhappiness – there is still undoubtedly a role to play for the £42.5k-per-week titan at the club.
With summer arrival Aguerd currently set for an extended period on the sidelines – and with Issa Diop having made the move to Fulham – the Irons are not currently blessed with a wealth of centre-back options, having been forced to deploy young full-back, Ben Johnson, in that role in the early weeks of the season.
That has coincided with an underwhelming start to the new campaign, with three defeats from four, with the absence of Dawson due to a thigh injury only further rubberstamping his importance to the side.
The Rochdale-born colossus has been in inspired form in recent years since joining the Hammers back in the summer of 2020, notably earning a place in the UEFA Europa League team of the season last term due to his stunning displays in the club’s run to the last four.
The one-time England U21 international also racked up 34 top-flight appearances in the 2021/22 campaign, scoring two goals and providing two assists, while winning an impressive 63% of his total aerial duels – a better record than that of teammate Kurt Zouma (62%).
Something of an unsung hero throughout his career, Dawson is no doubt a figure whose consistent displays can at times go under the radar, although his absence will surely keenly be felt if he is allowed to leave in the coming days.
Moyes must simply hold firm and keep the old-fashioned, no-nonsense gem at the club, with the awarding of a new contract having also potentially been deserved.