Date: 13th July 2019 at 8:35pm
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OPINION

With the apparent obsession of bringing in a striker at West Ham, it would be easy to forget that there are other areas that potentially need strengthening.

Time is running out for Premier League sides to improve their squads, with less than a month to go in the transfer window, Manuel Pellegrini has yet to strengthen his defence.

The imperious duo of Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop have overseen a great improvement at the heart of the Hammers’ defence, conceding 14 fewer goals last season than the campaign before.

Despite this, there is very little room for rotation in terms of defensive options at the London Stadium, and with Winston Reid having a questionable relationship with a clean bill of health, a new arrival could be vital next season.

One name that has been linked with a move to East London, is Guillermo Maripan, the Alaves defender who would only be allowed to leave by manager Abelardo Fernandez if a club matched his £23million release clause, as reported by Marca.

After weeks of silence regarding any deal for the Chilean international, any West Ham move is now surely on the rocks after Mundo Deportivo revealed a move for the 25-year-old has stalled.

Maripan would have been a great addition to Pellegrini’s side, with his fellow countryman holding great defensive attributes. The Alaves colossus averaged two tackles per game in La Liga last season, as well as averaging 1.7 interceptions and 5.7 clearances in every outing. [WhoScored]

With any potential move having stalled, Pellegrini must wrap up a move for striker quickly and switch his attention to defensive reinforcements – potentially reigniting his interest in Maripan.