Wednesday, September 28, 2022

West Ham Keeping A Keen Eye On This German Left-Back: What Will He Bring To East London?

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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.

The Daily Mail has recently reported that West Ham United are keeping a keen eye on Philadelphia Union left-back Kai Wagner, who is valued around £3.5m. It is understood that the Hammers boss David Moyes is eager to strengthen his squad and could be tempted to launch a move for the German defensive ace. However, the East London outfit will face competition from Fulham in the race to secure his signature (via The Daily Mail).

Wagner’s Good Form In The MLS This Year

Wagner has impressed a lot of people with his performances in the Major League Soccer in this calendar year so far. The 23-year-old has been involved in 17 league matches for the Philly outfit in 2020, scoring one goal and securing two assists.

The former FC Augsburg youngster has managed to make an impact at both ends of the field as he is averaging 1.5 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 0.9 clearances, 0.9 key passes and 0.6 crosses per 90 minutes in the MLS. He has even distributed possession relatively well after making 79.3% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

The German full-back has enjoyed his spell at the United States so far, but the jury is still out on whether he can maintain his good form in English football if the Hammers can find a way to bring him to the London Stadium.

West Ham United keeping a keen eye on Kai Wagner who is seen in the picture
Kai Wagner #27 of Philadelphia Union and Daniel Royer #77 of New York Red Bulls head the ball at Subaru Park on August 25, 2020, in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

What Will The German Defender Bring To East London?

Wagner has got decent pace under his belt and can pull off some energetic runs with the ball down the left-wing. He is a good tackler who can make a few important interceptions for his side and can get back to make a clearance when left isolated in a 1v1 foot chase with the opposition.

The German left-back has also got a great leap in him that makes him a good competitor in the air. However, he is still unproven in European football, so it could be a low-cost gamble if the Hammers decide to engineer a move for him in the future.

Wagner is good enough to rival Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku for a regular starting spot in Moyes’ first XI. He will undoubtedly enhance the overall depth of the West Ham squad which could make him a shrewd addition for the Londoners next summer.

At 23, Wagner is about to enter the prime years of his playing career, so Moyes might fancy getting the best out of him in the coming seasons if he can win the chase for his services. With all things considered, West Ham should take a chance on him by orchestrating a cut-price move for the German sensation at the end of this campaign.

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