Tuesday, August 9, 2022

West Ham United Leading The Race To Land This Serie A Centre-Back: Good Option For Moyes?

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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, Corriere Fiorentino stated that West Ham United are leading the race to land Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic. It is believed that the Hammers are ‘spearheading’ the chase to secure the signature of the Serbian defensive ace.

Milenkovic’s Solid Run Of Form At The Artemio Franchi Stadium

Milenkovic is having another solid campaign in Italy as he has continued to prove himself to be a dominant presence at the heart of Fiorentina’s defence. The 24-year-old has been involved in 31 matches for the Florence outfit this season, finding the back of the net on three occasions in all competitions.

The Belgrad-born talent has been a rock at the back and deserves credit for averaging 1.6 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per 90 minutes in Serie A. He has even been tidy with his ball distribution after making 90.4% of his attempted passes in the Italian first division (stats via whoscored).

West Ham United (Nikola Milenkovic)
FLORENCE, ITALY – DECEMBER 19: Nikola Milenkovic of ACF Fiorentina in action during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and US Sassuolo at Stadio Artemio Franchi on December 19, 2021 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
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Is Milenkovic A Good Option For West Ham United?

Milenkovic is a solid tackler of the ball and can sense the danger quickly to earn possession back on the defensive end of the field. He usually clears the danger when the opposition are on the front foot and is an accurate passer of the ball. Standing at 1.95m, Milenkovic can use his strong frame to dominate the opposition in the air and is a threat from indirect set-pieces. He is primarily a centre-back but can also fill in as a right-back if needed.

Milenkovic has got the experience and defensive skillset to be a success story at a club like West Ham where he will be guaranteed regular playing time in the coming seasons. Plus, he would serve as a perfect replacement for Angelo Ogbonna who is currently out of action with a serious injury.

We can expect the 33-time Serbia international to add more bite and steel to David Moyes‘ defensive department. Hence, Milenkovic will be a decent option for the East London outfit to consider in the summer. At 24, his best years are ahead of him which makes him a good signing for the Hammers to pursue during the summer transfer window.

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