Tuesday, March 28, 2023

West Ham United Face Competition In Pursuit Of Liverpool Ace: Should Pellegrini Go For It?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Goal.com, West Ham United will face stiff competition from Bournemouth and Napoli in pursuit of Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne during the summer transfer window. The same source has also revealed that the Reds are looking to recoup around £15m for the English defender who spent the second half of the recently concluded Premier League season on loan at Bournemouth.

Maybe his experience with the Cherries could give Eddie Howe an edge over West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini in the race to secure Clyne’s services in this off-season. However, the Hammers cannot afford to give up on the English full-back just yet as they would benefit from luring him to the London Stadium this summer. Pellegrini needs to find a suitable replacement for Pablo Zabaleta, who is currently going through the twilight years of his playing career.

Clyne’s Recent Struggles At Liverpool 

Clyne has struggled to feature for the Liverpool first-team ever since Trent Alexander-Arnold broke out as a regular starter at Anfield last season. The youngster’s incredible rise to prominence has put Clyne on the fringes of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

The 22-year-old’s contract with the Merseyside outfit runs out in the summer of 2020 which means that Klopp would be desperate to cash in on him in the coming months rather than risk losing him for free next year.

The former Southampton talent has featured in a total of 20 matches for both Liverpool and Bournemouth this term while creating just one assist in all competitions. More importantly, he has made an average of 2.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 1.9 clearances per game in the Premier League this season (Stats taken from Whoscored).

What Will The English Defender Bring To The London Stadium?

Clyne is an experienced campaigner who is a reliable defender in his own half. However, he is not the potent threat he once was going forward. The English defender has been plagued with injuries over the past couple of years and has lost a yard of pace from his game. 

However, a change in scenery this summer could give him an ideal opportunity to reignite his career at the top tier of England. If he decided to move to West Ham, then he might even be guaranteed a regular first-team berth under Pellegrini. That should be enough incentive for him to move to the London Stadium this summer.

At 28, Clyne still has a few years left in him to play at a high level so the Hammers should strongly consider recruiting him ahead of the new season.

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