West Ham should make a last-ditch swoop to sign Olympiakos left-back Leonardo Koutris before the summer transfer window slams shut as Aaron Cresswell had yet another shocker for the Irons on Wednesday.
Cresswell, 29, has had a pre-season to forget after enduring poor performances in almost every game he played.
On Wednesday as the Hammers beat Hertha Berlin 5-3, the former Ipswich left-back was not in the game at all and Hertha’s opening goal came after he failed to track the run of an attacking player before he crossed into the box to set up a goal.
Many West Ham fans took to Twitter to blast Cresswell for his display against the Bundesliga club, while football.london journalist Sam Inkersole has already pointed out this summer that the left-back is “under serious pressure” to earn a spot in Manuel Pellegrini’s starting line-up as he “looked incredibly rusty” during the Hammers’ trip to China last month.
Cresswell’s performances last term didn’t help him as he dropped behind Arthur Masuaku in the pecking order at left-back and some fans have been very vocal about wanting to get rid of the Englishman before the start of next season.
West Ham do not have much time left to go before the summer transfer window closes but they should have time to launch a last-gasp swoop for Olympiakos’ Greece international Koutris.
Greek outlet Sport 24 reported in January that West Ham would want to sign the 24-year-old in the summer and Claret & Hugh claimed in April that a £10million swoop to sign the Brazil-born Greece international would be on the cards.
Based on Cresswell’s poor form in the pre-season, lining up the Olympiakos ace would be a good idea.
Although stats from the Greek Superleague are limited, WhoScored’s report on Koutris’ performances in the Europa League last season for Olympiakos paint a pretty picture.
He made just three appearances in the Europa League group stages and two of them were against Italian giants AC Milan.
However Koutris still managed to complete 91.3 per cent of his passes and average 2.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 3.7 clearances in those fixtures.
He also attacked well by averaging two completed crosses, two key passes and 1.3 shots at goal per Europa League outing.
It’s worth mentioning again that two of those matches were against a team far superior to Olympiakos in AC Milan, yet Koutris still managed to stand out.
Koutris seems to be a well-rounded left-back who is capable of contributing to the attack while also doing his defensive duties well against teams that are a lot better than his.
If West Ham were going to spend £10million on one more player this summer, the Greece international would surely be a welcome addition among the fans.