Sunday, June 26, 2022

West Ham United To Rival Newcastle United For This Gifted Defender: What Will He Add To Moyes’ Side?

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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, Sky Sports claimed that West Ham United are set to rival Newcastle United for Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai. It is believed that the Hammers would have to pay in the region of £16.7m to acquire the services of the Hungarian centre-half.

Szalai’s Impressive Run Of Form At The Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium

The Budapest-born talent has enjoyed a decent campaign in Turkish football as he has managed to produce a handful of solid defensive displays at the heart of Fenerbahce’s backline. Szalai has participated in 28 matches for the Turkish club this season, picking up two assists in the process across various competitions.

The Hungarian sensation has been a rock at the back for İsmail Kartal’s side based on his average of 1.3 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 2.3 clearances per game in the Turkish Super Lig. He has even been tidy when distributing the ball from inside his half, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 80.3% in the Turkish first division (stats via whoscored).

West Ham United (Attila Szalai)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – SEPTEMBER 8: Attila Szalai of Hungary warms up prior to the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Hungary and Andorra at Puskas Arena on September 8, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
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What Will Szalai Add To West Ham United Boss David Moyes’ Team?

Szalai loves a tackle inside his half and can sense the danger quickly to earn possession back for his side on the defensive end of the field. He doesn’t take too many risks when putting his foot through the ball at the back and can even make some solid blocks to deny the opposition a goal. The Hungarian talent is a tidy passer of the ball and can use his strong 1.92m frame to dominate the opposition attackers in the air.

Szalai will be an excellent signing for the Hammers as he will enhance the quality of David Moyes‘ defence considerably this month. The Fenerbahce star has what it takes to compete with Craig Dawson and Issa Diop for a regular starting spot at the London Stadium this season.

More importantly, he will add some much-needed depth to West Ham’s match-day squad that might help them maintain their top-four push in the Premier League over the next few months. Thus, Moyes should think about going all out to get Szalai on board before the end of this transfer window.

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