According to a recent report by Spanish source AS, Premier League outfit West Ham United have been linked with a summer move for the services of AS Monaco’s Chilean international defender Guillermo Maripan. The report suggests that the centre-half’s exploits for the Ligue 1 side this season have caught David Moyes’ eye.
The report further states that West Ham are set to face competition from the likes of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham and Nigel Pearson’s Watford for the defender’s signature. With the player’s current contract at the Ligue 1 side set to continue until the end of the 2024 league campaign, there would have to be a reasonably hefty transfer fee involved in the deal as well. While Monaco were initially touted to have predicted that he would fetch in the region of €40m-€50m, the COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly brought the Chilean’s price down to €25m-€30m.
What Is West Ham’s Current Defensive Situation?
The Hammers are one of the many clubs in the Premier League who’ve spent a lot of money in the transfer market over the last couple of seasons. While all the purchases were made with the best interests of the team in mind, it must be conceded that a majority of them haven’t worked out quite as well as they would’ve hoped.
Defensively, the London club currently possesses four natural centre-halves, and while that doesn’t look too shabby on paper, closer inspection throws light on the situation. The fact that West Ham are targeting Guillermo Maripan proves that Moyes is concerned about his back-line too.
One of the four aforementioned centre-halves is 19-year-old Portuguese starlet Gonçalo Cardozo, who had been signed just last summer, and is yet to make his first-team debut for the Hammers. The other three – Angelo Ogbonna, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena, all have problems of their own as well.
Ogbonna is the most experienced player of the lot, and at 31-years-old, it’s worth questioning how many years he has left in him. Issa Diop is a budding talent who has been quite impressive since breaking into the side. Balbuena, as good as he’s been in periods, tends to make the odd mistake and that’s simply unacceptable in a league as competitive as the English top-flight.
What Would Maripan Offer To This West Ham United Back-Line?
The 26-year-old tends to be an extremely dominant figure in the air owing to his sheer strength and stature. Standing at over 1.93m tall, the Chilean can be a real force of nature while dealing with set-piece situations as well as crosses from wide. Capable of putting an end to most attacks with his presence of mind and dominant physical attributes, a player of Maripan’s stature would be huge for Moyes’ side next season. Partnering him up with French starlet Issa Diop would not only secure the Hammers’ defence but also help develop the 23-year-old into the next big thing at the London Stadium.
West Ham Are Targeting Guillermo Maripan: Good Business By Moyes?
The sheer amount of investment that this West Ham United side have made over the last couple of seasons is no joke, but the frustrating part for the staff and fans alike will be the lack of real quality across multiple positions on the pitch. A group of mediocre players surrounds isolated names like Declan Rice, Issa Diop and Michail Antonio, and that’s certainly not the right technique to try and tackle the Premier League. There’s no denying that Moyes needs multiple signings to get this Hammers side back to the top, but acquiring Maripan in the summer would definitely be the right start.