West Ham United are plotting a move for Joe Worrall this summer, according to reports over the weekend…
What’s the word?
The Sun’s Alan Nixon claims the Irons have “been making calls” to Nottingham Forest over the 24-year-old centre-back ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
However, they are likely to face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Burnley as well as Championship title-winners Norwich City.
Should West Ham sign Joe Worrall?
It remains to be seen how much Worrall would command but it is also thought that the Midlands outfit will sell to the highest bidder.
He is currently valued at just £3.6m by Transfermarkt, whilst the Daily Mail claimed last summer that Forest had a £12m asking price.
Another lower league bargain
The Hammers’ record when signing players from the lower doldrums of English football has been very hit-and-miss – for every Michail Antonio, there’s a Jordan Hugill, and for every Aaron Cresswell, there’s a Sam Byram.
A move for Worrall could certainly sit alongside the left-back sensation and may well potentially eclipse him one day.
At just 24, the Forest star isn’t anywhere near reaching his peak, especially as a central defender and that should be hugely appealing to David Moyes as Angelo Ogbonna, 32, Craig Dawson, 30, and Fabian Balbuena, 29, are all or close to the wrong side of 30.
They won’t be around for several years.
Despite all of the Reds’ struggles this campaign, Worrall has been one of the few bright sparks, so it’s no wonder there is now coveted interest in his services.
The 6 foot 4 colossus has averaged a whopping 4.2 clearances, 2.2 aerial duels won, 1.1 interceptions and 0.7 tackles per game, contributing towards a solid average rating of 6.75, which sees him rank as Forest’s fifth-best performer, as per WhoScored.
By comparison, the Englishman wins more battles in the air than Issa Diop (1.5) and Balbuena (1.5), and would rank second for clearances behind the Paraguayan.
Worrall would also add leadership qualities to that backline, as his former loan boss Steven Gerrard once revealed to reporters (via the Nottingham Post), he’s “a leader” and will “be a captain of whatever team he plays for.”
That echoed the thoughts of ex-Forest man Kenny Burns, who once claimed: “He has got an old head on young shoulders and he is not frightened of letting people know if they are not putting a performance in.”
The “no-nonsense” defender could be a bargain just like when the Irons snapped up Creswell from then-Championship side Ipswich Town for just £7m.
David Sullivan and co must look to complete this deal this summer.
AND in other news, Hammers eyeing their next Payet in 31 G/A “special talent”…
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