Sunday, June 4, 2023

West Ham Interested In This Welsh Full-back; A Good Move From Bilic?

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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).

West Ham’s preparations for a strong first season at the Olympic Stadium dealt 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 with Karlsuher and West Ham do not expect him to return to first-team duties until January at the earliest. Joining the club back in 2014 from Ipswich, Cresswell established himself as a key member of the Hammers side in the past couple of seasons. Slaven Bilic has a situation to handle now and the only solution is to sign a new left-back to fill in the huge void created by the injury to the Englishman.

West Ham are considering a move for highly-rated Charlton Athletic left-back left back Morgan Fox if reports are to be believed. West Ham fans would be well-known with the 22-year-old Welshman who has been on West Ham’s radar for a couple of years and they considered him before signing Cresswell himself. With the Addicks demoted to League One, Fox, one of their biggest talents is likely to move pretty soon and convincing him won’t be too much ask from the Hammers.

Fox is considered one of the hottest prospects in the Football League and would provide a much better immediate cover for Cresswell than the young and inexperienced Lewis Page. West Ham would not have been in such a desperation for a new left-back if they did not allow youngster Stephen Hendrie to join Blackburn on loan already but Fox would be a better option to the Scotsman thanks to his experience in English football.

fox 1

An academy graduate at The Valley, Fox has already made 86 appearances for Charlton till date. Even though Charlton had a season to forget the last term, Fox still managed to catch the eye with his consistent showing in the left-back position. The Welsh under-21 international is well capable of deputising for Cresswell when the former Hammer of the Year returns from his lay-off.

With a tall frame of 6’1″, Fox is a strong customer and can’t be outmuscled easily. The 22-year-old can make bombarding runs from the left flank and help out the attackers. Although, the Welshman has plenty of room for improvement on his passing. 62.5% passing accuracy is something that would worry Bilic but can be worked on as he is still only 22.

Fox had 7.5 defensive actions every game in the Championship last season which is definitely impressive. Regardless of Cresswell’s injury, West Ham should have moved for a new left-back to provide quality cover for the Englishman. Cresswell’s injury has put them in a desperate situation now and Fox seems to be a pretty good solution. If available for a reasonable fee, the Hammers should go ahead with the deal.

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