Why West Ham should make a move for Jamaal Lascelles in January
West Ham registered their first win of the new Premier League campaign, against Watford last weekend. They arrived at Vicarage Road on the back of that terrible hiding at home to Manchester City and a slightly more encouraging draw with Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Hammers haven’t looked comfortable at the back this season, leaking seven goals in three games thus far. Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena formed a strong partnership at the back last season, with the former emerging as one of the club’s best performers.
Both Diop and Balbuena were crucial in helping West Ham achieve a tenth-place finish in the table. Truth be told, every time one of them was absent, Pellegrini’s side looked vulnerable and lacked authority at the back.
Despite the two starting in central defence this season, the East Londoners have surprisingly been woeful, as evident from the games against Manchester City and Watford. The only difference is that West Ham’s mistakes were brutally punished by City and left alone by Watford.
Pellegrini put emphasis on reinforcing his attacking options over the summer, which resulted in West Ham signing just one defender – 18-year-old Goncalo Cardoso from Boavista.
Cardoso is very young and will be given plenty of time to develop. The teenager won’t immediately impact Pellegrini’s starting XI, leaving Angelo Ogbonna as the only real back-up option to Diop and Balbuena.
Hence, it would make sense for the Hammers to go for a new central defender in January and Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles, who was heavily linked with a move to the London Stadium last year, could be a good fit in Pellegrini’s system.
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles, 25, has been a mainstay in central defence for quite some time now.
The 25-year-old helped the Toon Army to top-flight promotion a few years ago and now has nearly 150 appearances to his name at St. Mary’s. He continues to be a part of Steve Bruce’s side and recently helped the Magpies to their first win of the season against Tottenham.
Standing tall at 6ft 2in, Lascelles is a powerful defender with good aerial ability and composure on the ball. He can bring the ball out from the back and spray passes with ease.
At the same time, the ex-Nottingham Forest man is also known for his robust tackling and ability to anticipate potential counter-attacking opportunities for the opposition.
Read more West Ham news, click here – West Ham latest news
Due to his physically imposing frame, the 25-year-old is also an indirect threat from set-pieces.
As Lascelles is a proven Premier League performer, he should have no problems adapting to Pellegrini’s system at West Ham.
To be honest, he would be the right player to compete with Diop and Balbuena for a place in the team, so the Hammers must go all out to prise the 25-year-old away from Newcastle in January.