To go from consecutive seasons of European qualification to a desperate scramble against the threat for Premier League relegation must be a daunting prospect, and it is the situation West Ham United are currently engulfed in…
West Ham’s issues this term do not lie heavily on the defensive leaks, with the 22 goals shipped in the English top-flight level with Liverpool and better than Tottenham Hotspur’s 25 conceded strikes.
However, the lowly league position and the inability to unearth the rich vein of form that served the club so well over the past few campaigns calls for reinforcements, and Manchester United’s Harry Maguire could be a great fit.
Speaking to talkSPORT, former Hammer and England legend Stuart Pearce declared that the England ace and former Red Devil captain would be a great fit for a club ostensibly one step below his current outfit.
He said: “If I was West Ham, if I was Newcastle, if I was Aston Villa, I’d be all over trying to get Harry Maguire out of there. I’d be asking the question whether he’s available. He’d be a brilliant addition to a football club.
“He’s the right age, the right stature, right experience. He might just need another challenge now as he’s not getting regular football.”
Maguire has been incessantly chased by criticism during his time in Manchester, often being chastised for his lack of pace and part in a United defence that has not exactly inspired confidence over the past several years.
And this is of course magnified by the seismic £80m fee – the world-record figure for a centre-back – that was parted with to convince previous outfit Leicester City to allow their colossus to traverse towards the Theatre of Dreams.
Regardless of this, there are plenty of pouches on the 29-year-old’s toolkit, and he would bring leadership and an imposing figure that could erect a fortified wall in front of the West Ham goal.
And having made just the three league starts under United boss Erik ten Hag this term, it might be that the winds have passed on a regular role in his side’s set-up, especially following the arrivals of Raphael Varane for £34m and Lisandro Martinez for £56.7m over the past couple of summer transfer windows.
As per FBref, the behemoth ranks within the top 13% of defenders in Europe’s top five leagues for blocks over the past year; and according to Sofascore, the 53-cap ace’s stunning rating of 7.34 at the World Cup in Qatar clearly indicates that he can flourish in the thick of the action on the biggest stage.
The £190k-per-week titan would be a big upgrade on the Irons’ summer acquisition Thilo Kehrer, who arrived from Paris Saint-Germain this summer in a £10.1m deal, starting the lion-share of fixtures across all competitions, including 14 in the league.
As per Sofascore, Kehrer has recorded a woeful 6.60 rating in the Premier League, failing to exhibit composure and quality in the relentless battle against some of football’s finest offences.
Besides boasting incredible offensive skills, Maguire offers plenty more than the German from a defensive point of view too, namely in the air. Indeed, the England star has won a whopping 3.4 aerial battles per game throughout his career to Kehrer’s 1.5.
Once hailed as a “mustang” by Jurgen Klinsmann, Maguire would evidently bring ball-playing prowess and aerial dominance to Moyes’ West Ham team in dire need of some leadership and conviction to bounce the side back from peril, and the United outcast would be a stunning signing to do just that.