West Ham are in the market for a new central defender but there’s only one name that should be considered above the rest this summer…
According to 90min, four Premier League teams have entered the race to clinch Manchester United outcast Chris Smalling, one of which are the Hammers who are keen on signing the Englishman.
Recently promoted Fulham, Everton and Newcastle United are also touted with interest.
It’s claimed that these teams would be willing to pay his reported £20m asking price but the player himself wants to decide which club he signs for next.
Serie A duo Inter Milan and Atalanta clearly liked what they saw from the 30-year-old whilst on loan at AS Roma as they too have been mooted as admirers.
Earlier this month, the Mirror (4th August, page 46) linked the Irons with a £10m move for Brighton back-up Shane Duffy, but if Smalling is available, then he’s someone they should move on from.
The 6 foot 4 centre-back has enjoyed a resurgent season in Italy – across 37 appearances, he won an average of 3.1 aerial duels, 3.9 clearances, 1.9 interceptions and a near 90% passing accuracy, via WhoScored.
Moyes’ side leaked 62 goals last season – only the bottom four conceded more – so it’s no wonder that the Scotsman wants a rejig at the back.
Roma boss Paulo Fonesca has been full of praise for Smalling after his success in the Italian capital, speaking to A Bola (via the Daily Mail) he said:
“He’s an extraordinary guy, very intelligent. He has characteristics that I really appreciate in the centre. He’s fast, nearly unbeatable in one-on-ones. He has a great ability to read the play and anticipate. He was very important for this club. If possible, I would like him to stay. He’s a great professional and person, it’s a pleasure to have him here with us.”
It’s ever so clear that Smalling has turned things around recently and don’t forget, he’s still racked up over 200 appearances in the Premier League, which is experience that could prove vital to avoiding another relegation battle.
On the other hand, Duffy could only start 12 matches this season, so if he’s not getting in the Seagull’s XI, then why should he at the London Stadium?
Smalling would be the smarter addition.
AND in other news, David Moyes must unleash “explosive” West Ham sensation next season…