West Ham United have invested a lot on their midfield and attack in recent years. Even in this summer, the Hammers signed the likes of Pablo Fornals, Sebastien Haller and Albian Ajeti. But, they made no efforts in reinforcing their defensive department.
Especially in the left-back slot, they have two options in Arthur Masuaku and Aaron Cresswell, both of whom are not exactly consistent enough. Therefore, the Londoners should go for a new left-back in the upcoming January transfer window. And VfL Wolfsburg’s Jerome Roussillon, in that regard, could be an excellent option.
Roussillon’s rapid rise at Wolfsburg
Roussillon initially joined Wolfsburg last summer, for a fee of €5 million. He came from Montpellier, where he had made 95 competitive appearances in the last three years. And the Frenchman didn’t require time settling into the Bundesliga, becoming a first-team regular at Wolfsburg right away.
Indeed, Roussillon appeared in 28 Bundesliga matches last season, all of which were starts. He scored three goals and registered six assists – contributions that were critical as the Wolves made an impressive comeback to finish sixth in the league.
Although Roussillon was left out of the squad during the final phase of the campaign, he has been involved in both the matches this season. The 26-year-old notably scored the third goal in the emphatic win over Hertha Berlin in the last game.
Why Roussillon could be an upgrade over Cresswell and Masuaku
It has been rather evident that Masuaku lacks defensive discipline. The 25-year-old often struggles when dealing with quality wingers and more often than not, allows them to make runs in behind the defence. Cresswell, on the other hand, is inconsistent. Besides, his versatility could be better used elsewhere.
As for Roussillon, he is a complete fullback as he can not only win the ball back for his team but can also provide extensive support going forward. The Frenchman is hard-working as well, meaning he could be quite useful when employing a deep defensive block. Speaking of which, Roussillon is equally comfortable playing as a wing-back, giving his coach the tactical versatility in defence.
Financing a move for Roussillon could be an issue
Roussillon’s all-round traits in both defence and attack are sure to enhance the overall quality of the West Ham side. But at the same time, the Frenchman’s stock value is almost guaranteed to rise if he continues to perform at this level with Wolfsburg this season.
That means the Hammers may need to fork out a sizeable fee to secure the services of Roussillon, especially with the defender still having a contract until 2023. It’s undoubtedly a risk, but a risk West Ham should undoubtedly take in their attempt to become a more robust unit and possibly challenge for Europe in the near future.
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