There’s no arguing with the fact that West Ham United’s defence has been absolutely atrocious this season, particularly recently.
And, while Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop is a fine centre back partnership – if Manuel Pellegrini would play them – there is precious little quality depth behind them.
Fabian Balbuena has been a car crash this season, while you cannot yet rely on Winston Reid as he continues to work his way back to full fitness. With that said, it’s pretty surprising that the club aren’t preparing to reignite their summer interest in New York Red Bulls centre half Aaron Long in January.
However, reliable Hammers news source Claret & Hugh reported on Monday that the east London outfit are not looking to pursue the United States of American international, because they feel they are well stocked at the heart of the defence.
Indeed, the report included a quote from a club source mentioning a West Ham player with zero first team appearances who could become the answer at the position: ‘We also have Goncalo Cardoso performing extremely well at under 23 level and seriously trying to push himself into first team contention,” the source said.
The summer signing has yet to play for the senior side, and only has eight Premier League 2 appearances this season. Indeed, the 19-year-old has only made 18 senior appearances in his entire career, all of them with former club Boavista [Source: Transfermarkt].
However, it’s clear that the Irons rate him very highly, even using him as a reason not to pursue an established international like Long. It seems obvious that the teenager has a huge future at the London Stadium.
Cardoso has been doing very well with the Under-23s and, with the senior centre backs not performing well, it would be no surprise to see him called up sooner rather than later.