West Ham have been credited with an interest in Stoke City defender Harry Souttar recently and the Australian centre-back could be the ideal man to replace Craig Dawson should he depart the London Stadium this month.
According to the Daily Record, West Ham, Wolves and Leicester City are all keen on signing the 24-year-old after his standout performances at the World Cup in Qatar, although it is currently Brendan Rodgers’ side who are said to be leading the race for the £25m-valued star.
The Scottish-born centre-back made his return from an ACL injury to join up with Graham Arnold’s side at the World Cup recently and played a huge part in the Socceroos reaching the round of 16, where they were defeated by eventual winners Argentina.
The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell was full of praise for Souttar’s performances, with WhoScored also ranking him as the top performer in Australia’s squad, after helping them to wins and clean sheets against Tunisia and Denmark in the group stages.
Campbell said: “Big Harry Souttar. An absolute monster of a defender. Huge, quick, can head it and is also fairly comfortable on the ball.”
David Moyes may soon be in need of a defender with these qualities, as reports suggest that Dawson could leave West Ham this month having come close to an exit during the summer, as the 32-year-old seeks a move north to be closer to his family.
While the experienced defender has established himself as something of a club icon in his spell at the London Stadium, playing a huge part in their success in the Premier League and the Europa League last season, he was perhaps always likely to be on the periphery of Moyes’ squad following the summer addition of Nayef Aguerd.
Standing at 6 foot 6, Souttar could be the ideal man to replace Dawson’s aerial threat, with WhoScored suggesting that both players excel at aerial duels, while the Australia international’s superb record of six goals in 14 caps suggests that he could be equally dangerous from set pieces.
Throughout their respective careers, the Aussie has won a whopping 5.1 aerial battles per game compared to the Irons defender’s record of 3.3. In that regard, therefore, sporting director Mark Noble could even source the coaching staff an ugprade.
Moyes will definitely need more depth at the back if Dawson leaves and therefore he should look to Souttar as his replacement, as all the signs suggest that he is simply a younger, quicker and taller version of the former West Brom and Watford star.