West Ham United must sanction a move for Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly in the upcoming January transfer window, ending David Moyes’ injury crisis.
The Hammers are currently sitting in fourth place in the Premier League table after a hugely impressive start to the season, but extensive fitness woes across the backline are threatening to unravel their hard work.
That leaves just Craig Dawson and Issa Diop as the capital club’s only fit central defenders, meaning the winter window could prove pivotal in their future success.
According to 90min’s Toby Cudworth, West Ham’s hierarchy are assessing a raft of options as Moyes looks for the right candidate to slot into his impressive starting lineup.
One of those being watched is reportedly 23-year-old Kelly, who has put in a string of eye-catching performances for the Cherries throughout 2021/22.
After arriving on the south coast from boyhood club Bristol City back in 2019, the youngster initially struggled to settle, failing to produce his best form as Bournemouth were relegated from the top-flight.
However, he’s gone from strength to strength over the last 18 months, playing a pivotal part as the Vitality Stadium outfit reached the play-offs last term, earning the praise of former manager Jonathan Woodgate.
“He’s got talent. He’s got a lot of attributes that Premier League teams look at. But he needs to be consistent week in, week out now,” he said before lauding Kelly’s natural pace.
“At the minute he just looks like a bit of a Rolls-Royce doesn’t he? He looked very, very good (against Bristol City). I was impressed to be honest with you, especially when (Antoine) Semenyo tried to run him down the line and Semenyo gave him two yards and Lloydy overtook him.
“It’s eye-catching when things like that happen, especially as a fellow defender. When you see things like that, it’s like ‘you’ve got a bit’,” he concluded.
And the £9m-rated ace has taken his game to new heights this time around. As per WhoScored, Kelly has averaged 3.2 aerial duels won per league game, a whopping 5.2 clearances and 5.5 long balls while averaging 73.8 passes per game.
Those figures place him in the top two for each metric when compared to his teammates, illustrating his top-class potential.
Therefore, it’s clear that Kelly is exactly the sort of player that West Ham are missing in their first-team squad at this moment in time due to their injury woes, and Moyes must push the club’s hierarchy to secure his services in January.
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