We all know that West Ham United have struggled with finding a reliable left back for a couple of years now. Aaron Cresswell has been the incumbent for much of that time, but his decline has been staggering.
Arthur Masuaku has come in and done well in fits and starts, but we all know that he’s a winger by trade – defending certainly isn’t his strong suit.
It’s no surprise, then, to learn that the club are looking at external options at the position. The Daily Mail reported on Monday that the Hammers are eyeing a potential move for Rosenborg left back Birger Meling.
The 24-year-old is a regular starter for the Norwegian side, and has a little over a year left on his current contract. Furthermore, he is a 10-cap Norway international and is attracting interest across Europe.
So West Ham need to be quick with this one, and so perhaps a January swoop is in order. However, signing Meling – a Europa League regular this season – could spell the end of Cresswell and Masuaku’s careers at the London Stadium.
Neither man has impressed this campaign, there’s no arguing with that statement, nor did they last term. Meling, on the other hand, has played 11 times across Champions League qualifying and Europa League competition for the Norwegians [Source: Transfermarkt].
This is a talented boy by all accounts and, at 24 years of age, he’s only going to get better. If he arrives, then, it’s likely that one or both of Messrs Cresswell and Masuaku could be shipped out to make room for him.
Football London journalist Sam Inkersole suggested last month that Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini may have tied down the duo on long-term contracts in recent months purely to ensure he can secure transfer fees for them in the near future.
So perhaps the Chilean is already looking to give them the boot, with Meling potentially taking their place. All signs, then, point to the two West Ham left backs not having long left in east London.