West Ham’s situation at right back could be a tricky one in the summer as Alvaro Arbeloa looks set to depart following a dismal campaign in the Premier League. The Spaniard has failed to even make the team on more than 3 occasions, whereas fellow right-back Sam Byram has also failed to impress Bilic. The manager will surely look to bring in a defender that can add to West Ham’s defensive line.
They have, quite surprisingly, been linked with Manchester City’s Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta. Both right backs are out of contract with City at the end of this season and if they aren’t offered new contracts, West Ham could look to pounce on either one of them, in order to solve their crisis at right-back.
Zabaleta has been one of the outstanding right-backs, whereas Sagna too impressed heavily at Arsenal, before getting a Bosman move to Manchester City. But both defenders are probably past their peak now and will soon reach the wrong side of their 30’s. Sure, many defenders have gone on to defy the odds of age and play on for long periods, but these two have also had the tendency to injure themselves frequently, thus leaving their team short in numbers at the back.
Surely, West Ham aren’t that desperate. They have a decent scouting network and should scour the various regions of Europe to get their man. The Hammers should take a leaf out of the book of Hull City, who have recruited really well in the January transfer window. Although that’s hugely down to new manager Marko Silva, the club would’ve surely had a hand in it too.
Their signing of Norwegian right-back Omar Elabdellaoui, who is a former Manchester City man, goes to show that if you search well enough, you will find the right player. And he certainly has been a right scouting, as in his 3 odd appearances for the club, Hull have performed more than decently. Carl Jenkinson, a former West Ham loanee was left stranded at Arsenal in January as loan moves to various clubs fell through.
The Hammers should look to bring him in as he has impressed hugely in his past 2 stints at the club, earning rave reviews for his performances in an Irons’ shirt. Having already been there for 2 years, he won’t need more time to adjust to the scenes at West Ham and it would be the best move for all parties involved.
Therefore, they should look far and beyond The Etihad Stadium for re-enforcements in the right-back area as signing either one of Sagna or Zabaleta would be a step backwards, rather than a step forwards, something West Ham need at the moment following their move to the Olympic Stadium and also given the topsy-turvy season they’ve endured so far. A move for either one of them wouldn’t be a smart one and would definitely come under the category of ‘panic buy’.