West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring Francesco Acerbi to the London Stadium this summer.
That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet La Lazio Siamo Noi (via Sport Witness), who claim that, despite the Hammers looking to have secured the £10.1m signing of Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thilo Kehrer, David Moyes is still on the hunt for further additions to his options in the heart of defence – with the Scot now believed to have made an enquiry for the Lazio defender.
The report goes on to state that, with the 34-year-old not currently being a part of Maurizio Sarri’s first-team plans, the Serie A side would be willing to allow the Italy international to leave the club on a season-long loan deal prior to September’s transfer deadline – without the option of a purchase clause.
However, the Italian outlet also goes on to suggest that the Lazio centre-back is not overly convinced by the idea of a move to the Premier League, and would much prefer to reunite with his former manager at the Stadio Olimpico, Simone Inzaghi, at Inter Milan – although the Nerazzurri are yet to launch a move for the defender.
Considering just how dependable Acerbi has been in the Lazio backline over the past few years, in addition to the heart of the Hammers defence being something of a problem position for Moyes already this season, it is not difficult to see why the 59-year-old would be keen on a deal to bring the 34-year-old to east London this summer.
Indeed, with West Ham having sanctioned the £15m sale of Issa Diop earlier this month, Moyes was left with four senior centre-backs in his first team squad – Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd, Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna.
However, with £30m summer signing Aguerd sustaining ankle ligament damage in pre-season – a setback that will keep the 26-year-old sidelined until October – Dawson and Ogbonna currently being ruled out with knocks and the club having fears that Zouma could have a long-term degenerative issue with his knee, Moyes is facing something of a centre-back injury crisis.
As such, while the addition of Kehrer will help to ease the strain in the heart of the Scot’s defence, it is clear that further reinforcements will be required ahead of what could well prove to be long and arduous campaigns in both the Premier League and Europa Conference League – with Acerbi appearing to be an amazing fit for the Hammers.
Indeed, despite his advancing years, the £3.6m-rated defender has managed 30 or more Serie A appearances in each of the past eight seasons, while his level of performance by no means appears to be on the decline.
This is evidenced by his highly impressive form over 30 league fixtures for Lazio last season, during which the £75k-per-week talent helped his side keep five clean sheets and scored four goals, in addition to making an average of 1.1 interceptions, 0.8 tackles, 3.0 clearances, 61.2 passes, 5.5 long balls and winning 3.8 duels – at a success rate of 61% – per game.
These returns saw the 25-cap international who David Amoyal dubbed “amazing” and Carlo Garganese labelled a “monster” average a SofaScore match rating of 7.03 – marking his seventh consecutive campaign in which Acerbi has averaged a match rating of 7.00 or higher.
As such, considering his dependability both in terms of fitness and performance, it would very much appear as if the 34-year-old would represent an amazing addition to Moyes’ current options at centre-back – leading us to believe that the Scot should do all he can to convince the Italian stopper of a switch to the London Stadium in the coming weeks.