West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring Lloyd Kelly to the London Stadium in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Telegraph, who claim that as a result of the long-term injuries picked up by both Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma, David Moyes is hoping to bring a new centre-back to East London next month.
The report goes on to state that one of the 58-year-old’s targets is AFC Bournemouth defender Kelly, who the Hammers boss is thought to be a fan of due to his positional versatility and his leadership qualities.
However, a further report by The Sun also claimed that Scott Parker’s side will not want to lose one of their most influential players halfway through the Championship season, meaning a deal for the 23-year-old will not likely be an easy one for West Ham to get over the line this winter.
Considering just how much potential Kelly quite clearly possesses, should West Ham manage to get a deal over the line for the defender next month, it would undoubtedly be something of a coup for the club – particularly when taking into account the Hammers’ current problems in the heart of defence.
Indeed, over his 19 Championship appearances this season the £9m-rated ball-playing centre-back has been in phenomenal form, helping his side keep ten clean sheets and scoring one goal, as well as making an average of one interception, 0.5 tackles, 59.3 passes, 4.9 clearances and winning 63% of his duels per game.
These returns have seen the £21k-per-week defender average a highly impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.09, ranking him as the Cherries’ third-best performer in the second tier of English football.
Furthermore, the 23-year-old’s former manager, Jonathan Woodgate, clearly believes that Kelly is capable of making the step up to the Premier League, stating of the centre-back: “He’s got talent. He’s got a lot of attributes that Premier League teams look at.
“He’s played well against [Watford’s Ismaila] Sarr and played well again against Bristol City. I don’t see him being at Bournemouth long if he keeps on playing like that. He was brilliant. He’s got some strings to his bow now.
“At the minute he just looks like a bit of a Rolls-Royce, doesn’t he? He looked very, very good [against Bristol City]. I was impressed to be honest with you, especially when [Antoine] Semenyo tried to run him down the line and Semenyo gave him two yards and Lloydy overtook him.
“It’s eye-catching when things like that happen, especially as a fellow defender. When you see things like that, it’s like ‘you’ve got a bit’.”
Thus, it is clear for all to see that the England U21 international has an extremely bright future in the game, with his passing ability appearing to mirror that of a young Rio Ferdinand – who Harry Redknapp often deployed in midfield due to his ability with the ball at his feet.
As such, it would appear a very wise move for Moyes and his West Ham transfer team to do all they can to sign the Bournemouth defender this winter, as they could well unearth a future England international in the 23-year-old Kelly.