Why West Ham should’ve signed Joel Veltman in the summer
West Ham have made a fairly optimistic start to their campaign after suffering a heavy defeat to Manchester City in their first game of the season. One of the positives has been the form of their new signing Sebastien Haller but the rest of his teammates haven’t really shown up yet.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Ajax’s Joel Veltman was looking to leave Ajax after spending his entire career so far at Amsterdam. Now 27, it’s perhaps time for him to look for a new challenge and the report suggests that West Ham were interested in his signature.
Veltman was a part of the Ajax squad that made it to the UEFA Champions League semi-final and was one of the unsung heroes of the treble-winning domestic season. Veltman can either play at right-back or at centre-back and is an extremely intelligent player like most Ajax graduates.
The Dutchman is also a full-fledged international, having earned 19 caps for the national team. Veltman still has some peak years ahead of him and will be hoping that he can get a new experience.
West Ham could definitely use someone like Veltman, with Ryan Fredericks still not completely convincing since his move to the London Stadium and Pablo Zabaleta being far from the player he once was.
West Ham have spent money over the last few seasons and are looking to break into the European spots. With the sort of investment they’ve made, a 7th place finish is the least that they’ll be hoping for.
Veltman would add great experience to the side without his age being a factor. His many outings in European competition are absolutely essential for West Ham, who are looking to make inroads into Europe.
They finished 10th last season but will be hoping to achieve a better finish this season. Veltman would also suit Manuel Pellegrini’s style of football, which demands a lot of possession of the ball, and Veltman’s been educated with the same principles at Ajax. He can bring a sense of calmness to the West Ham backline.
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One of the worries for the Hammers is the lack of natural width as they have a lot of tidy technicians. Veltman would add some quality to the right-hand side, which has been a bit of a worry as Fredricks is more of an athlete and his end product is still lacking.
Veltman would’ve been a perfect partner alongside Andriy Yarmolenko and West Ham must go for the Dutchman when the transfer window reopens in January.