Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Should West Ham United Go All-Out To Sign This Resolute Southampton Defender?

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

José Fonte’s relationship with Southampton is nearing a sour end. The Portuguese international, who is also the captain of the St. Mary’s based club, has handed a formal transfer request in order to terminate his seven years of relationship with the club in order to venture into new endeavours.

The 33-year-old has eighteen months left on his contract but has made his intentions of departure quite clear. He is unarguably one of the finest central defenders in Europe and his availability has ignited pursuits from a handful of clubs, including Slaven Bilić’s West Ham United. It is reported that the Hammers are keen to acquire the services of the veteran defender to infuse the shield of resilience into their backline.

West Ham United have been pretty amateurish at the back so far this season and are desperately vouching for prospective targets as the league marches towards its business end. They have been shaky, leaky and penetrable, the evidence of which could be derived from the fact that they have already conceded 35 goals in 20 league games. Their defence has let them down miserably, which is why they find themselves languishing in the lower half of the league table.

Bilić’s side’s form leaves a lot to be desired and to make the necessary changes, they have put Fonte under their radar. The former Crystal Palace defender had been left out of Southampton’s squad which faced Liverpool in the first leg of EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday after he expressed his desire to leave the club, thus implying that West Ham can strike the gold if they fork out the necessary transfer fee to lure him to the Olympic Stadium.

Technically sound, physically strong and with humungous experience, Fonte is precisely what the Hammers need at this point in time to rescue them from the clutches of defensive helplessness. He is a leader on the pitch and the way he commands the back is so galvanising to witness. In 17 Premier League appearances this term for the Saints, Fonte has been an outstanding campaigner once again alongside Virgil van Dijk at the back.

In the league, he has registered every game, 1.5 tackles, 2.1 interceptions, 5.8 clearances and 0.6 blocks on an average, which is sheer brilliance from him. West Ham United should have their intentions quite clear about roping Fonte into their side in this transfer window to make a final push for the remainder of the season in order to finish as high as possible in the league table.

Statistics Credits: WhoScored

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