Opinion: £6.3m-rated target is a risk West Ham can’t afford to take

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The 2019/20 campaign has not been a vintage year in East London and, unfortunately, West Ham have spent much of it peering beneath at the other teams battling to stay afloat rather than looking towards the upper echelons of the Premier League table.

Part of the issue has been the Hammers’ woeful inability to keep clean sheets, producing six in 33 top-flight matches. The disastrous stint of Roberto Jimenez between the sticks, who conceded 17 goals in eight appearances, including two errors leading to goals and one he put in his own net, could be used as a scapegoat.

Though in truth the defence simply has not been up to scratch so, understandably, David Moyes is reportedly looking towards bolstering his options at the back in the transfer window. However, most Hammers fans will be filled with dread at the prospect of Phil Jones, who has been linked with a Moyes reunion, arriving at the London Stadium.

While Jones is an accomplished defender with a glorious CV that boasts 27 England caps, a Premier League title, an FA Cup and the Europa League, it is his injury record that makes the prospect of him joining so frightening. During his time in the Premier League, the central defender has missed over 130 matches with 20 different injuries. Given the Hammers already have Jack Wilshere, who has taken up a permanent residency on the treatment table, there is no room for Jones to slot in alongside his fellow England international.

When fit, the 28-year-old has proven himself to be an incredibly diligent defender, but often his appearances are so few and far between it is almost impossible to build any significant momentum with the players around him, as is the case with his two starts this season.

With the likes of Andy Carroll, Wilshere and even Andriy Yarmolenko, West Ham took gambles on players who were known to be injury-prone, and it is hard to argue any of those deals have paid significant dividends. By purchasing Jones, valued at £6.3m (Transfermarkt), the Hammers would be heading down a well-trodden path they really ought to learn to avoid.

In theory, Jones is precisely the sort of defender that the Irons should be interested in to bolster a defence which has shipped 59 goals in 33 matches. The Englishman is an adept interceptor and boasts a high pass accuracy of 88.4 per cent this term, but Jones is of no use to the Hammers if he cannot be consistently relied upon to start matches.

Ultimately a move for the Manchester United defender by Moyes would be nothing short of asking for trouble.

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