Tuesday, October 4, 2022

West Ham United Failed With Their Offer For This Ligue 1 Defender: What Should Moyes Do?

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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 print edition, France Football has mentioned that West Ham United failed with their late €17m plus €3m (in add-ons) offer for Strasbourg defender Mohamed Simakan before the transfer deadline on October 5. It is believed that the French club were ‘greedy’ with their demands as they were looking to recoup in excess of €30m for their prized asset which was significantly higher than what the Hammers were willing to offer for the talented centre-back (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).

Simakan’s Impressive Rise In French Football

The 20-year-old has endured a tough start to this campaign after conceding 16 goals in seven league matches thus far. However, Simakan picked up an assist during that time and did well to average 2.0 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 1.6 clearances, 1.0 shots and 0.7 dribbles per game in the French first division. He has also been neat when distributing possession out from the back as he has made 84.4% of his attempted passes in top-flight football.

The Marseille-born talent experienced a solid season in the last term when he appeared in 25 games for the French outfit while averaging 2.8 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 1.1 clearances and 0.8 dribbles per game in the Ligue 1 (stats via whoscored). Therefore, it is safe to assume that the French starlet is a player on the rise as he has already shown plenty of promising signs during his time at the Stade de la Meinau.

West Ham United failed with their late offer for Simakan who is seen in the photo
Strasbourg’s French defender Mohamed Simakan celebrates after his teammate scored a goal during the UEFA Europa League preliminary round football match between Strasbourg and Lokomotiv Plovdiv, at the Meinau stadium in Strasbourg, on August 15, 2019. (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP via Getty Images)

What Makes The French Whizkid Such A Highly-Rated Prospect?

Standing at 1.87m, Simakan is a commanding presence inside his penalty area. He can often overpower the opposition and dominate them aerially using his strength and heading ability. The Ligue 1 prospect has also transformed himself into a reliable defender at the back as he has got the tenacity to earn possession back for his side.

The French youngster is often quick to sense the danger but still has a lot to learn if he wants to break into the world-class bracket someday. Plus, there are some question marks over whether he will be able to cope with the high intensity of Premier League football week in week out.

Should The Hammers Go Back In For Simakan?

David Moyes has seen his players make an impressive start to this campaign, so there is no immediate need for him to address any areas of his squad. However, if the Hammers are looking to build a team with the future in mind, then it makes sense for them to engineer a move to bring Simakan to the London Stadium in January or at the end of this campaign.

The French wonderkid will add a lot of bite and steel to the West Ham backline and could increase competition for the likes of Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna, Fabian Balbuena and Gonçalo Cardoso in the coming years. Hence, the East London giants should consider going back in with a bid for him in the future.

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