West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring Koffi Kouao to the London Stadium in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by French media outlet Foot Mercato (via Sport Witness), who claim that, with David Moyes looking to add a new right-back to his squad this winter, the 59-year-old has now placed the FC Metz defender on his shortlist ahead of potentially launching a move for the 24-year-old this month.
The report does not go on to state whether or not the Ligue 2 side would be willing to part with the Ivory Coast international in January, however, Sport Witness add that Metz only signed Kouao from Liga Portugal side FC Vizela in the summer of 2022, with the full-back’s deal at the Stade Saint-Symphorien running until 2026.
Considering just how impressive Kouao has been in France so far this season, coupled with Vladimir Coufal having desperately struggled for form in the current campaign, it is not difficult to understand why Moyes would be interested in a deal to bring the former to the Premier League in January.
Indeed, over Kouao’s 13 Ligue 2 appearances in 2022/23, the £1.1m-rated talent has been a rock at the back, helping Metz keep five clean sheets, in addition to making an average of 1.9 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 1.9 clearances and winning 4.0 duels – at a success rate of 54% – per game.
The 24-year-old has also impressed going forwards, creating two big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 0.5 key passes, 0.6 crosses, 1.8 long balls and completing 0.6 dribbles per match.
These returns have seen the two-cap international average an extremely impressive Sofascore match rating of 6.94, currently ranking him as Laszlo Boloni’s seventh-best performer in the second tier of French football.
In comparison, over Coufal’s 12 Premier League appearances this season, the £8m-rated right-back has failed to help West Ham keep a clean sheet, in addition to making an average of 1.9 tackles, 1.7 interceptions, 1.8 clearances and winning 3.9 duels – at a success rate of 56% – per fixture.
Going forwards, the £52k-per-week defender has scored no goals, registered no assists and created no big chances, as well as making an average of 0.9 key passes, 0.7 crosses, 1.5 long balls and completing no dribbles per game.
These returns have seen the player who Trevor Sinclair claimed “hasn’t got a clue” average an extremely disappointing Sofascore match rating of 6.79, ranking him as Moyes’ eighth-best performer in the English top flight this term.
As such, with Kouao undoubtedly being a player with a much higher ceiling than that of Coufal, in addition to the 30-year-old being linked with a move away from the London Stadium this winter, it would indeed appear wise for Moyes to cash in on the Czech Republic international before reinvesting the funds raised into a move for the FC Metz talent.