Date: 14th July 2019 at 2:00pm
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OPINION

Alaves centre back Guillermo Maripan has long been thought of as a key  target for West Ham this summer, yet progress has been painfully slow on a deal for the Chile international.

Indeed, Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo reported on Saturday that negotiations for the 25-year-old’s signature have stalled, which leaves huge questions marks about whether the Chilean will still make his protracted switch to .

With that said, it’s imperative that call off the dogs in this particular transfer hunt. At the end of the day, there’s simply no need for Maripan in , unless something drastically changes.

The Alaves man is a terrific centre half, there’s no doubt about that, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side are already extremely well stocked at that particular position on the pitch.

Frenchman Issa Diop was largely superb in his debut season in English football last time out, while Fabian Balbuena was extremely assured alongside him. Meanwhile, Italian international Angelo Ogbonna was surprisingly effective as their deputy and improved tenfold as the campaign wore on.

Indeed, if you look at the statistics, they would suggest that Maripan isn’t required at the . As per WhoScored, the only statistical defensive category where he was the leader last season – compared to the aforementioned Hammers trio – was in the number of own goals scored.

To be fair, Diop has a monopoly over most of the categories – he was that good – but Balbuena and Ogbonna both come up trumps in a few of them between them.

So when you’re considering adding someone to the centre back mix for West Ham, you’d need to be convinced that they’re an improvement on what they’ve already got, which isn’t necessarily the case here.

The real wild card, though, is . The long-serving Hammer made his much-anticipated return from against SCR Altach on Thursday, having missed the entirety of the last campaign. If he can stay fit, then that’s four extremely solid centre halves in east London.

It’s for those reasons, then, that it’s perhaps time for the club to move on from Maripan. He’s simply not needed.