David Moyes reportedly wants to clear out the left side of the West Ham United defence, with suggestions emerging that both Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku could depart the London Stadium this summer. One of the potential replacements who have been consistently linked with a move to East London is Wigan Athletic’s Antonee Robinson.
Although, it has now emerged that the Hammers may have passed on the American international and could have turned their attention to Brentford’s Rico Henry. Leaving the £1.9m-rated League One left back to Sheffield United though would be a mistake by Moyes and the Hammers hierarchy as Henry’s performance in the second tier do not stand up against the relegated Robinson.
Despite Henry nearly achieving promotion with Brentford, losing in the playoff final to rivals Fulham, the 23-year-old completed just 1.5 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per 90 minutes in the Championship. Meanwhile, Robinson provided a tremendously impressive 2.2 tackles along with two interceptions per match, significantly more than the Bees defender.
Part of the reason that the American turned over possession more frequently will likely have been that Brentford has the third-highest average possession in the division, 55.4 per cent. In contrast, Wigan had 48.4 per cent of the ball on average. Even so, Robinson vastly outperformed the Brentford defender at regaining possession.
Robinson was not so successful at keeping hold of the ball however, competing an average of 33.5 passes per match, with a 68.9 per cent accuracy. Meanwhile, Henry played almost ten more passes every 90 minutes, 43.1, with a significantly more reliable, 75.7 per cent accuracy. The statistics suggest that the English defender is better on the ball, although, Robinson is marginally more progressive, playing 0.8 key passes per match, 0.1 more than Henry.
There is little to separate the pair by way of their attacking contribution either, with the Wigan Athletic full back providing one assist and one goal for the relegated side last term. Henry failed to score but set up teammates to finish on three occasions.
While both left backs had very similar campaigns last term, the fact Robinson is reportedly available for £1.9m means the Hammers should not give up on him. The Englishman proved himself to be the better defender, and West Ham must continue to contest Sheffield United for his signature.