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Inkersole: West Ham could target defender after Balbuena decline

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Sam Inkersole has claimed that West Ham United could target a central defender in the January transfer window this season due to the form of Fabian Balbuena.

The Football.London journalist suggested that the Paraguayan international has declined alarmingly since last season, form which has seen him have to settle for a place on the bench in games.

Inkersole went on to suggest that Manuel Pellegrini could be tempted to make a move for another centre-back due to Winston Reid struggling for fitness and the inexperience of summer signing Goncalo Cardoso.

“Balbuena has declined alarmingly since last season and can barely get a game for the Hammers at the moment, just one minute of Premier League action since August 10 is testament to that,” he wrote for Football.London.

“Pellegrini might want a bit more competition for Ogbonna and Diop than he has right now.”

The 28-year-old has yet to make a single start in the Premier League this season since the opening day defeat against Manchester City.


It would been no surprise should Pellegrini make the decision to bring in another defender in the winter market, with his back-up options currently not being up to the same standard as the likes of Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop. The European duo have been phenomenal this season, and should one of them miss games because of suspension or injury, the Hammers’ could be left in trouble should their replacements not step up to the plate. Inkersole is spot on with his verdict, and that is backed up by the fact that Balbuena failed to feature for Paraguay over the international break most likely due to his form. The 28-year-old has yet to make a single tackle, interception or block in this campaign according to WhoScored, not good enough from a player who will be expected to put his body on the line for his side. With Reid struggling to return to the first-team fold, and Cardoso also failing to make a breakthrough from the academy, Pellegrini could be forced to make a move for reinforcements.

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