Why West Ham should plot a January swoop for Marc Bartra
Back in 2016, a report from Express had claimed West Ham were interested in signing Marc Bartra, who was then plying his trade for Barcelona. However, no deal materialised then.
Marc Bartra, 28, joined Real Betis in January 2018 from Borussia Dortmund and enjoyed a resurgence in form with Los Verdiblancos. The Spaniard has settled down well at Betis, and the La Liga outfit will be under little obligation to sell unless attractive offers come in during the January transfer window.
However, West Ham must table an eye-catching bid in January to persuade Betis into selling Bartra.
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini will be happy with his squad after a strong start to the Premier League season. They are currently eighth in the table after three wins and three draws from their first eight matches.
The 2-0 victory over Manchester United last month will have been a particular highlight for manager Manuel Pellegrini but the Chilean is certain to strengthen his team in the next transfer window to bolster his team’s hopes of achieving a top-six finish. And one area Pellegrini must prioritise strengthening is his defence.
The East Londoners lack quality as well as depth in central defence, with Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna, Winston Reid and Goncalo Cardoso the only options available to Pellegrini.
But with Reid yet to play this season, Ogbonna highly inconsistent and Cardoso not yet ready to feature regularly in the Premier League, it is a no-brainer for West Ham to spend money on a new centre-back.
Marc Bartra would be a good addition to the Hammers’ backline. In Bartra, West Ham would be getting an accomplished defender who is comfortable turning defence into attack.
Decent in the air and quick through the ground, the former Barcelona man can also operate at right-back when needed. He is a good reader of the game and can lead the backline with authority and conviction.
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The Spanish international will add much-needed solidity and robustness to West Ham’s defence. He has vast European experience, whilst his winning pedigree would come handy to Pellegrini’s side. At 28, Bartra is operating at the peak of his powers and should seamlessly slot into Pellegrini’s system at the London Stadium.
Signing the experienced Bartra in January would represent a colossal statement from West Ham. He could be the perfect partner for the young Diop in central defence, whilst being an upgrade on Ogbonna.