Monday, August 8, 2022

West Ham Linked With Champions League Winner: A Deal That’ll Elevate Them To Dizzier Heights?

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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).

Excitement is certainly growing ahead of West Ham’s first season at the Olympic Stadium. While the Hammers prepare to kick-start their new era, a major blow came their way with a long-term injury to full-back Aaron Cresswell. A key part of the Hammers’ squad, the 26-year-old’s injury came as a massive setback for the Hammers who are targeting a top-four finish this term and a good Europa League run if they can qualify for the continental competition.

West Ham have to look for a replacement for Cresswell now as the Englishman is unlikely to feature in West Ham colours again this calendar year. According to The Daily Star, the Hammers have made a loan bid for Inter Milan outcast Davide Santon who also found himself attracting interest from Sunderland and Napoli earlier this summer.

A loan deal would cost West Ham around £460,000 and if Slaven Bilic would like to sign him permanently at the end of the loan, it would set the club back £4.9m as per The Daily Star. Ahead of the move, let us make a SWOT analysis of the Italian international.

Strengths

Santon is already proven in the Premier League having featured 94 times while his four-year stint at Newcastle United. A player like the Italian always acts as a blessing to any side thanks to his versatility. Santon is equally capable of plying his trade as a left-back or a right-back. Predominantly right-footed, Santon played most of his career at the left-hand side of the defence and he is a brilliant attacking full-back, pretty much what Bilic wants from his full-backs.

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 18: Paul Pogba (L) of Juventus FC competes for the ball with Davide Santon (back) and Marcelo Brozovic (R) of FC Internazionale Milano during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 18, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY – OCTOBER 18: Paul Pogba (L) of Juventus FC competes for the ball with Davide Santon (back) and Marcelo Brozovic (R) of FC Internazionale Milano during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 18, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Weaknesses

Santon’s biggest weakness is his poor injury records that never really let him grow as much as a player as was expected of him. In his early days at St. James’ Park, Santon made his real mark with the Magpies but gradually his impact faded. The Italian failed to impress on his return to his boyhood club Inter after being sold by the Tyneside club.

Opportunities

Santon will have his chance to impress in the Premier League once again if he does move to West Ham. In his later days with Newcastle, the Italian was mostly restricted to the bench. Now, after being frozen out at San Siro, Santon desperately needs a move and he will have a chance to prove his worth at West Ham.

Threats

Although West Ham want him initially on loan, if the move does materialise, the 25-year-old will slot into the left-back position until Cresswell returns and that is why the deal possesses a big risk. However, the player is in a position where he has nothing to lose. He is not getting playing time at Inter, so, can things cannot get any worse for him?

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