In an interview with GIVEMESPORT earlier this month, transfer insider Dean Jones gave the lowdown on the Hammers’ interest in the former Chelsea man and the possibility of him moving back to the Premier League in January.
He said: “There is still a chance. He is one of the options that they’ve had in mind. Honestly, there are three or four teams at the moment with him on a shortlist. It’s not 100% that he moves in this transfer window at all, but given the amount of interest it does seem like it’s feasible.”
Vladimir Coufal has struggled to replicate the form he showed when he first joined the Hammers, while Thilo Kehrer has also struggled at right-back since his summer arrival from PSG, with the two right-backs averaging hugely disappointing 6.48 and 6.33 ratings from WhoScored for their performances in the Premier League.
Therefore, it is easy to see why Moyes would want to recruit a right-sided defender in this month’s transfer window and in Aina he could land a potential upgrade for a fee of just €10m (£9m), with the Nigerian – whose passing has been dubbed “unreal” by journalist Michael Oti Adjei – earning a strong 6.74 rating from WhoScored for his performances in Serie A this season.
Moyes would be hoping that, if the former Fulham loanee joined the Hammers, he could replicate the performances of Dalot, who has established himself as one of the best in his position this season under Erik ten Hag at United.
The former Porto man has earned an impressive 6.96 average rating which sees him ranked as the fourth-best player at Old Trafford this season according to WhoScored.
According to FBref, the Portugal international is the fifth-most similar player to Aina when compared with other full-backs across Europe’s top leagues.
The two defenders have registered extremely similar numbers so far this campaign with regard to shots per 90 (0.93 vs 0.91), shots-creating actions per 90 (2.48 vs 2.41) and tackles per 90 (2.03 vs 2.05).
WhoScored also suggests that both Aina and Dalot excel at interceptions, so they are clearly similar types of full-back and given Dalot’s impressive form in a strong United side this season, Moyes would surely be foolish to turn the Torino “animal” down.
Indeed, the pair boast a rampaging nature to their game, all while possessing the ability to break up opposition attacks with ease. That is a fine mix and one that would surely improve the Hammers’ ranks.