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Who Are West Ham's Defensive Targets?

Louis Nixon's picture
Submitted by Louis Nixon on Tue, 08/12/2020 - 11:27

The Irons might have made a solid start to the Barclays Premier League season, but only a fool would say there isn't a need to look at defensive reinforcement in the January transfer window. With the opening of that less than a month away, we look at the names in the frame.

Number 5. Samuel Umtiti

You would be ill advised to think that Samuel Umtiti wouldn't instantly improve the rear guard on show at the London Stadium, he would. The trouble is, he might struggle getting out on the pitch all that often because his track record over the past couple of years doesn't read well. The France international is in his peak years at 27 but the last two seasons have seen him make only a combined 33 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona, it's simply not enough. Throw into the mix that he's currently injured and that he'd want big money to come to a club whose biggest aspirations for the next five years is possibly Europa League qualification, and you can park this rumour before you leave the garage ahead of getting your coat!

Number 4. James Tarkowski

In the summer, Burnley stalwart Tarkowski emerged as one of David Moyes' top targets as he looked to add a steel to the defence, but the Hammers rightly baulked at the reported £50m asking price. On top of the substantial fee, the player himself has recently spoken of the contract on the table from Burnley being 'nowhere near good enough'> suggesting his wage expectations are sizeable too. You'd expect his name to still feature somewhere on the list of targets but given his form has not been on point it would have to be assumed that any contact with Tarkowski's representatives as January nears would be as a result of West Ham having missed out on other names.

Number 3. Jonathan Tah

24-year-old German international Tah had looked set to establish himself at the heart of Bayer Leverkusen's defence for years to come just a season or two ago but the mid-season arrival of Edmond Tapsoba in January has forced him down the pecking order. Now, it's reported that he's looking to leave with West Ham a possible destination.Tah's career trajectory hasn't continued on the sharp trajectory it started on but he'd still be a good addition to Moyes' squad and has the potential to become one of the top defenders in Europe. Moyes may well think he can help the former Hamburg man achieve that. His 2019/20 stats of 1.4 tackles, 1.2 blocks and 3.8 clearances per game show he can be a rock like presence at the back.

Number 2. Frederik Alves Ibsen

Pretty reliable sources have already suggested this deal is as good as done but it's not over the line yet and, even if Alves Ibsen does sign, it's likely a more experienced head might arrive too. Alves Ibsen is close to having a half century of senior appearances under his belt for Danish side Silkeborg but at just 21-years-old he'll need time to settle given where he's coming from. Alves Ibsen, who plays for Denmark under 21s but also qualifies for Brazil, is composed in possession and has good timing in the tackle, however, he is known to lack concentration at times and allows attackers to get the march on him in man marking situations. Still, at £1m you can't expect it all.

Number 1. Nikola Maksimovic

Now here is the interesting link, Maksimovic is a 29-year-odd Serbian international who Napoli are reported to be willing to let go on the cheap to avoid losing him for nothing in the summer. He's barely had a look in this season with his game time largely coming in the Europa League but injuries to first choice pairing Kalidou Koulibaly and Kostas Manolas gave him the chance to put himself in the shop window last year. He made a total of 28 appearances in 2019/20 and his stats make good reading. He came out on top in 64% of his aerial duels, won 77% of his tackles and, to round of the package, managed to achieve a seriously impressive 92% pass completion from 1,500 passes. To put those stats in to context, Issa Diop had a pass completion of 78% last year. The only negative to this link is the fact that Everton, Liverpool and Inter Milan are all monitoring Maksimovic's situation too, which means the odds of West Ham getting their man are somewhat reduced.

There you have it, five names that could be donning the claret and blue come January. We reckon any of these would be great Christmas gifts for any Hammers fans. Talking about Christmas gifts, check out to find subscription boxes for men, including shaving kits and sports boxes full of soccer items!



mcbikeman's picture

We all know that old Adage Nev and Moyes clearly made it his priority in the last window but with little money to spend we clearly need a striker and midfielder and with Balbuena in good form and the Ibsen deal like you say all but done i think Moyes may choose to keep his powder dry on the defense in this coming window and try and beef up our frontline....i did mention Ivan Tony on that front but because he was in league 1 making the jump to the Prem is a big leap but look at him go at Brentford this young man has something about him and if not now then the summer.

25 users have voted.
boogerscaravan's picture

Ahh rubbatiti, frying tonight...................................................Ask yer grandad kids...!!!

48 users have voted.

Oi big boy, what's your name?

Only know Tarkowski,dont know any of the others,but lol boogers,i know Rubbatiti,frying tonight.........Back in the day when chips shops did have that sign outside when they had fish,not open everyday like they are now.

25 users have voted.
boogerscaravan's picture

Pissed my pants, we are officially the Oddbod Squad on here.......................!

47 users have voted.

Oi big boy, what's your name?

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