Premier League

Opinion: West Ham must swoop for £27m-rated stopper to end goalkeeping woes

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Leaking goals has been a problem for this West Ham side all season long.

On eight occasions in the Premier League, they have conceded three or more goals, leaving themselves in a position where it is almost impossible to accumulate points with consistency. The defence hasn’t always been fault for the issues either, Lukasz Fabianski, two, Roberto Jimenez, two, and David Martin, one, have all made errors leading to goals.

In fact, the only goalkeeper to appear in the top-flight for the Hammers this season and not make a mistake which benefits the opposition is Darren Randolph, who has played twice and conceded five goals.

Fabianski has typically been a reliable performer and an outstanding piece of business since arriving from Swansea for £7m in 2018, keeping 13 clean sheets in 50 top-flight appearances. But at 35-years-old he is reaching the end of his career, and when he did miss 14 matches at the start of the season with a hip injury, West Ham suffered greatly and collected just seven points out of a possible 36 in the Premier League games when he was absent.

The man who could be set to replace Fabianski between the sticks is AS Roma stopper Pau Lopez, who has been linked with a move to London. The Spanish goalkeeper has not always appeared settled in the Italian capital, keeping just five clean sheets this term, but with Real Betis he displayed tremendous promise, keeping the opposition out on 19 occasions over two seasons.

Due to the fact Lopez has struggled in Serie A, Roma have reportedly slashed their asking price for the stopper, meaning now could be the time for West Ham to move for their transfer target. It has been suggested that the Yellow and Reds have reduced their price from £36m to £27m after just one term in Italy.

Sooner or later the Hammers hierarchy will be forced to search for Fabianski’s replacement, with the Pole now in his mid-30’s. If he is available at a reduced price, as has been suggested, then Lopez could be the ideal candidate to take the reins at the London Stadium and end West Ham’s goalkeeping issues.

Last summer Roma courted the 25-year-old Spain international and saw enough promise in the stopper to bring him to the Stadio Olimpico for £21.15m. Though he has not reached the levels expected of him, the stopper still has time to develop and could hold the number one jersey at the London Stadium for years to come should they move for him.

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