Friday, February 3, 2023

Is This Out Of Contract Left-back The Solution To West Ham’s Concerns Over Cresswell?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

This should be the time for West Ham to concentrate hard on their first season at their new home venue i.e. the Olympic Stadium. The club is entering a whole new era that could prove to be the golden period for the East London club if Slaven Bilic can play his cards right. At such a crucial period for the club, West Ham had to deal with a major blow with the news of Aaron Cresswell suffering a long-term knee injury. The 26-year-old got himself injured earlier this month in a pre-season game against Karlsuher and could be out for the rest of the calendar year.

Slaven Bilic has a situation to deal with now. Cresswell is someone who cannot be dropped when fit and that is the reason why the Hammers do not have a quality cover for him. They have already sent youngster Stephen Hendrie on loan to Blackburn to get vital game time which means 20-year-old Lewis Page is right now the immediate cover for the 26-year-old full-back.

Bilic will be in a huge dilemma now whether to look for someone who can act as a quick-fix to the injury crisis or look for someone who can be a long-term project at the club and can contend with Cresswell for a first-team place. Given the big intentions of the club to moving forward, they should go for the second one.

CHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Jose Enrique of Liverpool passes the ball during the Barclays U21 Premier League match between Liverpool U21 and Tottenham Hotspur U21 at Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on January 25, 2016 in Chester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
CHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 25: Jose Enrique of Liverpool passes the ball during the Barclays U21 Premier League match between Liverpool U21 and Tottenham Hotspur U21 at Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on January 25, 2016 in Chester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

If reports from The Daily Star are to be believed, the Hammers are looking to offer a contract to out of contract left-back Jose Enrique who was released by Liverpool last month. Signing the 30-year-old Spaniard will prove to be a major blunder from Bilic. It would be a wrong advertisement of the club’s intent.

Yes, Enrique is a proven Premier League campaigner with a vast experience in England gracing the pitch for clubs like Newcastle and Liverpool, but he would be too big a gamble for West Ham. They need someone who can play on a regular basis at least until January when Cresswell is scheduled to return from his layoff. That is too much an ask from someone who only managed to play 21 games in the last three seasons.

The Spaniard is well past his peak and has become quite susceptible to injuries. Otherwise, Liverpool, who are in dire need for a left-back who can defend unlike Alberto Moreno, would not have released him. West Ham are moving in a forward direction and cannot afford to make such a major blunder of signing the forgotten Spanish full-back.

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