Manuel Pellegrini is even more convinced than ever that he needs another centre-back before the end of the transfer window following West Ham’s penalty defeat to Athletic Bilbao, according to reliable source ExWHUemployee.
The Hammers drew 2-2 in normal time before losing in a shootout at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and the performance has reportedly made up the Chilean’s mind as to where his transfer priorities must lie before the window shuts.
Writing on his personal Twitter account, Ex said: “After today Pellegrini is even more convinced we need to sign another centre back!”
The Hammers have been leaking goals in preseason, and it’s understandable that Pellegrini feels as if he needs another defender. Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena will likely be his first choice partnership next term, but beyond those two, his options look pretty shaky. There is a suspicion that Winston Reid isn’t the same player he was prior to his lengthy injury absence, and Angelo Ogbonna is too temperamental in his form to be properly trusted. The Italian is the wrong side of 30 now, and despite registering fairly middling stats last season, with 1.5 tackles per match and 4.1 clearances per game, as per Whoscored. But those stats don’t account for the worrying lapses in concentration or occasional moments when he moves like a canal boat that plague his game. Who the Hammers will move for this late in the window remains to be seen, and you can’t imagine that money will be plentiful, but you can’t blame the manager for wanting to do something.