The future of centre-half Winston Reid is uncertain to say the least, with rumours of interest from the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United ever present. The New Zealand international has undoubtedly been one of our top performers over the last few years, and I am sure he will continue to grow and improve assuming his recent injury problems are behind him.
Amid interest from some of England’s top clubs, it’s pleasing to read that West Ham have reportedly offered the Kiwi a new lucrative, long-term contract – hopefully Winston will stay loyal as I for one would love to see him walking out in claret and blue at the Olympic Stadium once the move is complete. If worse comes to worst however and Reid receives an offer from elsewhere that he simply cannot refuse, I have put together a list of potential replacements I believe could fill the New Zealand international’s boots at the heart of the Hammers’ defence:
1) Curtis Davies – Hull City
Before last season I must admit, I had never been a fan of Davies, but his performances at the heart of Hull’s defence over the past 12 months have been extremely impressive. Davies’ performances for Hull certainly did not go unnoticed at the club, as he was deservedly named Hull’s Player of the Season for the 2013/14 campaign, and managed to round off his superb year with a goal at Wembley in the FA Cup Final. At 29-years-old, and at the peak of his career, signing Davies would certainly prove a good investment if Reid were to move on
2) Michael Keane – Manchester United
The use of ‘hot prospect’ and ‘one for the future’ have often been used to describe the Manchester United centre half, who up until now has rarely been given a chance to impress in the first team at Old Trafford. At 21 years old, I do not believe Keane should be considered a prospect anymore, and the defender would massively benefit and improve by being exposed to first team appearances at a mid-table Premier League side. Keane will undoubtedly have gained experience from loan spells at Leicester City, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers, but a move to the Premier League would see him come on leaps and bounds, and help him realise his full potential.
3) Thomas Vermaelen – Arsenal
Perhaps the most unrealistic replacement, a move for the Belgian international would undoubtedly be a long shot, but with recent bids for the likes of Konoplyanka and last season, Alvaro Negredo being made, I certainly wouldn’t put an ambitious bid for the Arsenal defender past our owners. Despite this, numerous news sources are reporting a move to Manchester United is imminent for the Belgian, and the Hammers simply wouldn’t have the financial power to complete with contract offers from one of England’s elite clubs.
4) Kurt Zouma – Chelsea
Having recently signed from Saint-Etienne, a permanent move for the 19-year-old Frenchman is all but certainly out of question. However, a loan move for the highly rated youngster is perhaps more realistic, with the centre back unlikely to establish himself as a first team regular at Stamford Bridge for a couple of seasons, yet. Sunderland and Monaco are reportedly looking to snap up the youngster on a season-long loan, so the Hammers would certainly be facing strong competition for the Frenchman’s signature. Despite this however, a move to a Premier League club would probably be Chelsea and Zouma’s preference in terms of ensuring the defender gains experience in England’s top flight.
5) Matija Nastastic – Manchester City
Amidst rumours of Eliaquim Mangala’s imminent arrival at the Etihad from Portuguese side FC Porto, as well as competition for places from Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis, it’s hard to see where Nastasic fits in at Manchester City. If the Hammers were to pursue a move for the 21-year-old Serb, wages would certainly be a stumbling block as Nastasic’s demands would probably be unrealistic for West Ham’s capability. However, Nastastic may become fed up playing as backup to City’s defenders and may look for first team football in exchange for a pay cut.
Preferably, I’d love to see Winston Reid sign the reported terms being offered to him at the Boleyn Ground. I feel financially, hanging onto the New Zealand international would be most beneficial, particularly as the defender’s best days are yet to come.
Let me know what you think – would you prefer to see Reid stay in East London, or do you think there are better, realistic alternatives elsewhere, and if so – who?