Tuesday, September 27, 2022

West Ham United Could Still Sign This Championship Defender: Should The Hammers Make A Move?

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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.

In a recent report, Hertfordshire Mercury has revealed that West Ham United could still sign Craig Dawson from Watford this month. The English defender was not part of the Hornets squad that suffered a 1-0 loss to Reading last weekend which has put his future at the Vicarage Road in doubt with the Hammers along with Fulham waiting to pounce on his services before the domestic transfer deadline later this month (via Hertfordshire Mercury).

Dawson’s Recent Struggles At Watford

Dawson has only featured in one match for the Hertfordshire outfit this term but was a regular feature for them in the Premier League last season. The Rochdale-born talent made 30 appearances for the Hornets in the previous campaign, picking up two goals and six yellow cards across multiple competitions.

Despite suffering relegation with Watford earlier this year, the former England Under-21 international deserves some praise for averaging 1.0 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 3.8 clearances and 0.9 shots per 90 minutes in the English top-flight last season. The 30-year-old even distributed possession relatively well out from the back as he completed 77.5% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

The new Watford boss Vladimir Ivić has preferred to use Ben Wilmot, Christian Kabasele and Craig Cathcart as his first-team defenders in recent weeks. It seems like Dawson is surplus to requirements at Vicarage Road, so West Ham would now have a small window of opportunity to land him ahead of the domestic transfer deadline.

West Ham United could still sign Craig Dawson this summer (Dawson is in action in the picture)
Watford’s English defender Craig Dawson (L) vies for the ball with Norwich City’s Finnish striker Teemu Pukki during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Norwich City at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London, on July 7, 2020. (Photo by MATT DUNHAM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What Does The English Centre-Back Offer On The Pitch?

Dawson is quite aggressive in the way he operates at the heart of the Watford defence and can come to his team’s rescue by pulling off some crucial clearances at the back. He is also a decent tackler and an even better header of the ball inside his half. However, the English defensive ace is not the quickest of players which can sometimes make him a liability on the field, especially when he is being asked to maintain a high line in defence.

Should The Hammers Make A Move For Dawson This Summer?

West Ham have currently got Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna, Fabian Balbuena and Gonçalo Cardoso vying for a regular starting berth in their first-team. Dawson will only add more competition for them if the Hammers decide to launch a cut-price move for him this month.

The Hornets outcast is not good enough to make an immediate impact at the London Stadium. However, Dawson will undeniably enhance the overall depth of the East London club’s squad after the international break if he ends up making a switch to the English capital in the coming days.

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