While West Ham were preparing themselves for the strongest possible season to kick start their Olympic Stadium era, an early but major blow was delivered to the Hammers with a long-term injury to Aaron Cresswell. The 26-year-old got himself injured earlier this month in a pre-season game with Karlsruher and he is unlikely to return to the first team picture in four months.
Regardless of the injury to Cresswell, West Ham should have moved for a new left-back to compete with the Englishman for a first team place. Now the need has become a desperation. With Europa League commitments added to the Premier League’s tight fixture list, West Ham now should look for someone a bit more experienced, ready for the first-team player to fill in the void of Cresswell rather than moving for short-term solutions.
If reports from Swedish media Aftonbladet are to be believed, West Ham are looking for highly-rated defender Ludwig Augustinsson from Danish side FC Copenhagen. It will be one hell of a signing from the Hammers if they can bring the Swedish international at the Olympic Stadium.
Why? Well, Augustinsson has made his name in European football even at the tender age of 22 as one of the best attacking left-backs. Augustinsson is a complete modern wing-back with brilliant attacking abilities from the left flank. Blessed with a blistering pace, the 22-year-old is a menace on his bombarding runs forward from defence. Augustinsson looks quite assured when on the ball and can pick out his teammates in the centre with a deadly eye for crosses.
The Swedish international resembles Cresswell in terms of style of play. He is a set-piece specialist and has real venom in his deliveries from corners and free kicks. Augustinsson was a key part of the Sweden U21 squad that won the European U21 Championship in 2015. He played all five games in the main tournament and scored in the penalty shootout against Portugal in the final.
Augustinsson is a very productive player in the attack according to his statistics. From just 63 games for Copenhagen, the 22-year-old contributed with three goals and a remarkable tally of 22 assists. West Ham have brought in quality players in every position to create a competition for a place in the starting XI and Cresswell’s left-back position should not be an exception to that. Augustinsson is quality young left-back who would provide a staunch competition to Cresswell after the Englishman comes back from his layoff.
If West Ham can pull off the signing of the highly-rated Swedish international, Slaven Bilic will once again prove that he is a master of the transfer market.