Why must West Ham reignite their interest in Aissa Mandi in January
West Ham were interested in signing Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi in the summer, reports ABC Sevilla.
The Hammers had a £12million to £15million bid rejected for Mandi during the summer transfer window and that is when Manuel Pellegrini turned to Issa Diop to shore up his defence.
Mandi, 26, who is contracted to Betis until June 30, has a £30million release clause. While West Ham failed in their pursuit to sign the 26-year-old Franco-Algerian in summer, should they reignite their interest in the player this January?
West Ham have endured a terrible start to life under new boss Manuel Pellegrini, losing all four Premier League matches as they currently sit at the bottom of the table.
Pellegrini, who won a Premier League title with Manchester City, spent heavily in the summer to reshape his squad.
However, things haven’t gone according to the scripts for Pellegrini and it’s a big concern for the Chilean now, with the Hammers failing to get points on the board with four games gone.
Despite spending top dollar on shoring up the defence, new signings Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop have struggled to cope with the intensity of the Premier League, illustrating a general lack of pace.
Pellegrini has come under a lot of fire due to his failure so far at West Ham but for now, he has to continue with the players he has at his disposal. Once the transfer window reopens, Pellegrini could make further reinforcements in defence. And that could be by bringing Aissa Mandi to east London.
Mandi joined Betis from French side Reims in 2016, and has been a mainstay in the Spanish club’s backline. Over the last two seasons, Mandi has racked up 60 league appearances and continues to develop at a rapid rate with every passing week under manager Quique Setien.
Although the 26-year-old is primarily a right-back, he has played mostly at centre-back during his time in Andalusia.
So bringing Mandi to West Ham could solve two issues; the Algeria international, with his physicality and good understanding of the game, would strengthen West Ham’s rearguard while he can also play at right-back whenever required.
Read more: West Ham could massively strengthen themselves by signing £35m Premier League winner in January
Due to Mandi’s ability to play in two positions in the back-four, the Hammers would get a versatile player competent enough to make a difference at the club. An aggressive defender, a leader and a fantastic organiser, Mandi would be such a top signing for a struggling West Ham.