Thursday, October 6, 2022

West Ham United Retain Interest In Manchester City Defender: An Ideal Target For The Hammers

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to Daily Mail, West Ham United are among the clubs interested in the services of Nicolas Otamendi. The Manchester City defender is tipped to leave the club this summer, after failing to make an impression in the first-team this season.

Otamendi may end up staying at the Etihad Stadium after Vincent Kompany confirmed he would be leaving the club this summer. But the report claims that the Hammers still retain their interest in the Argentine international. They could also face stiff competition from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Atletico Madrid.

Following a disastrous World Cup campaign with Argentina, Otamendi has been on a steady decline. Despite being pivotal to Manchester City’s title-winning campaign last season, the 31-year-old only made 18 Premier League appearances this time around. He fell behind John Stones and Aymeric Laporte in the pecking order. And with City likely to sign another defender this summer, Otamendi’s future at the club is bleak.

Hence, a move away from the Etihad will be a logical decision for the Argentine international. And West Ham, in that regard will present him with the opportunity to revive his career next season.

The Hammers have struggled with a lack of depth in the defensive department. Injuries have also played their part. Key defender Fabian Balbuena, for one, missed a chunk of the season due to his knee surgery. As a result, Manuel Pellegrini had to rely on the services of Angelo Ogbonna. While the ex-Juventus defender has done well to deputise for Balbuena, the addition of someone like Otamendi could revamp the West Ham defence next season.

The Manchester City star is a no-nonsense defender who would fit perfectly into Pellegrini’s tactical setup at the London Stadium. His dogged defensive nature, coupled with his aggression, will make the Hammers much more vigilant during defensive phases.

From a tactical perspective, Otamendi can be utilised alongside Balbuena at the heart of Pellegrini’s four-man backline. Balbuena’s superiority in circulating the possession and reading the game will complement the much more robust nature of Otamendi, thus adding another dimension to the West Ham defence.

Furthermore, the Argentine has vast experience at the highest level of football. He has featured in over 170 matches for Manchester City in all competitions while winning 59 caps for his national side. And this experience could certainly help him marshal the West Ham defence, as Pellegrini should be looking to improve on the London side’s notorious record of conceding needless goals next season.

However, it remains to be seen whether or not Manchester City will be willing to sell Otamendi to West Ham, especially as they could use him as a bargaining chip to sign Atletico Madrid’s Rodri.

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