West Ham have struggled at times this season, and it’s not always been abundantly clear as to why.
On paper the Hammers have a squad more than good enough to be challenging for a Europa League spot, and while they have just about kept in touch with that tussle over the course of some worrying dips in form, you would probably have to say that they are outsiders for seventh place at the moment.
And while it may not have always been blatantly obvious as to what has been going wrong at the London Stadium, it couldn’t have been any more noticeable against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
The Hammers scraped their way to a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Terriers, but their defensive frailties were nothing short of alarming.
Issa Diop, usually so reliable, had a nightmare, and Angelo Ogbonna, a player whose form can be temperamental to say the least, was not much better.
Fabian Balbuena is waiting in the wings to make his long awaited return from a knee injury, but Saturday’s lucky escape highlighted the need for defensive reinforcements in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad.
That’s why Hammers fans should be delighted hear that their team is reportedly interested in signing Alaves’ Guillermo Maripan.
According to the Daily Mail, the Irons are interested in bringing the 13 cap Chilean international to England, and it would be a move that acted as a real statement of intent.
The 6’4″ defender has been likened to Gerard Pique due to his calmness and self-assuredness on the ball, and the 24-year-old could bring a much needed touch of class to the Hammers’ backline.
They are likely to face competition from Roma for his services, but after the breakout season he has had, and with the issues West Ham are having, it would be a brilliant move if they can pull it off.
Not only would it improve their side, it would put those already at the London Stadium under pressure – pressure which would surely see their own performances lifted.