Sky Sports previously reported that the Hammers had been offered the chance to sign the 6ft 1in tall centre-back (Source: Transfermarkt), before reliable Hammers source ExWHUemployee claimed that at this stage the London club weren’t in for the American defender.
However, Sky Sports journalist Kaveh Solhekol gave more information about the Hammers’ interest on Monday and insisted they were in the mix due to hunting for a new centre-back.
“Yes there is an American defender called Aaron Long who was the MLS defender of the year last year and he is a player who wants to come and play in the Premier League,” said Solhekol on Sky Sports News (19:18, Monday, July 22nd).
“West Ham been offered the chance to sign him, he has a £4million release clause in his contract and we’re being told West Ham are looking to sign a back-up centre-back this window.
“We’re also being told Marseille, Fiorentina, Lyon are interested, he’s been offered to Burnley and Everton.”
Solhekol then shared that Sky Sports had received a quote from Pulisic about Long and revealed that the Chelsea 20-year-old believes his international teammate would be a success in the Premier League.
“And what we’ve got this evening is a quote from Christian Pulisic , who plays with him for the USA team and has just moved from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea, and Pulisic says that if Aaron Long does get the chance to play in the Premier League, I think he would be a great success,” said Solhekol.
Given that Pulisic clearly knows Long well, speaks highly about him and is confident enough to go on record about how good the 26-year-old could be in the Premier League, surely the Hammers should grab their chance to sign him, especially as Solhekol believes they’re searching for a new centre-back.
This is especially the case when you consider Long would cost £4million, which is peanuts in today’s market and when you consider he has impressed in the MLS in recent seasons.
In his 2018 campaign, Long was a force in the air by winning 2.9 aerial duels per game (Source: WhoScored) and averaged a very impressive rating of 7.08 across his league outings.
The enforcer has also shown glimpses of his talent this year despite only starting 55% of Red Bulls’ league games (Source: Transfermarkt) as he has won 4.9 aerial duels per game and scored a goal in his 12 outings.
So what are West Ham waiting for?