West Ham signing this 6ft 4in giant similar to Sokratis and Pique would be a brilliant coup by Pellegrini

West Ham opinion: Should the Hammers sign Guillermo Maripan

According to the Daily Mail, West Ham United are keen to make a move for Deportivo Alaves defensive giant Guillermo Maripan. The report reveals that Manuel Pellegrini targeted Maripan back in January but the defender is on Roma’s radar now.

The Hammers signed Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena in the summer to solve their defensive woes but the latter, after an impressive start, has missed action since December after undergoing knee surgery.

West Ham need another centre-back in the summer, with both Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid turning 31 in the next few months. If the report is true, then Pellegrini has found an absolute gem in Guillermo Maripan and should go all out to sign the Chilean before the start of the season.

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Maripan has been outstanding for Alaves this campaign and has been one of the biggest reasons why the Basque club are fighting for the top four after finishing just 4 points off of 17th place last season.

The Babazorros El Glorioso have conceded just 31 goals this season, one less than Real Madrid. Maripan’s partnership with Spaniard Victor Laguardia has been nothing short of incredible and together, they have kept the club in the hunt for top 4.

Maripan is a huge unit in Alaves, thanks to his 6ft 4in frame and despite his massive size, he is surprisingly quick. His ball-playing style is similar to Barcelona’s Gerard Pique but defensively, he is a no-nonsense player who gives everything for his team.

His defensive style is quite similar to former Borussia Dortmund and current Arsenal centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Maripan, like the Greek, loves a good challenge and thanks to his quick reading of danger, he gets in between the ball and the opponent comfortably.

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Maripan’s aerial prowess is obvious, thanks to his height but despite being so tall, he gets down for a tackle at incredible speed. His relentless pressure on an opponent with a ball is extremely similar to Sokratis and would be a phenomenal fit in the Premier League.

Maripan averages 1.8 interceptions, 2.1 tackles, 4.1 successful aerial duels won and a jaw-dropping 5.7 clearances per game so far this season in the La Liga. (WhoScored)

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Conclusion

West Ham have to replace the likes of Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid in the summer and Guillermo Maripan is one of the best options out there. The Chilean’s physicality will suit the Premier League massively and his ability to win the ball back will prove to be a massive asset for the Hammers.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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