West Ham’s £30million acquisition of Nayef Aguerd from Rennes has gotten David Moyes’ transfer window off to the perfect start.
The 26-year-old centre-back has signed a five-year contract at the London Stadium after arriving in the capital last week to complete his medical and will compete for a role in Moyes’ defensive line as part of a back four or three, with the left-footed Aguerd comfortable in either formation following three seasons in Ligue 1 with Dijon and Rennes.
West Ham are hoping to provide Moyes with several new singings so that the club can compete on all four fronts next season, with the Hammers qualifying for the UEFA Europa Conference League following a seventh-placed Premier League finish last term.
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The club have released Ryan Fredericks, Mark Noble, Andriy Yarmolenko and David Martin at the end of their contracts and are expected to see more players depart with West Ham said to be listening to offers for defender Issa Diop and wide man Said Benrahma. Aguerd’s arrival is the first step in the right direction for the Hammers, with the full Moroccan international no doubt an upgrade for Moyes in defence, who will likely contest for a spot alongside Kurt Zouma in the starting XI with Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson if Diop leaves.
The centre-back will also be a useful tool in the opposition’s box from set-pieces, with French football expert Julien Laurens pointing out that West Ham’s strength from dead ball scenarios will complement their new signing’s game massively.
“I think it’s a great signing because he’s left-footed but it’s not just that, it’s a sweet left foot. He has a good technical ability for a centre-back which is quite rare,” Laurens told Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast. “He’s tall, quick and reads the game well and is a threat at set-pieces.
“He’s scored goals on set pieces offensively and we know how good West Ham are at set-pieces. He’s going to be another weapon in that armour on top of all the others. It doesn’t matter whether he plays with Craig Dawson, Kurt Zouma or in a back three as Angelo Ogbonna who is back from injury as well. He’s young too. He’s a fantastic signing.
“He will go to the World Cup, so as a first season in England when you need to adapt, leaving for six weeks and coming back on Boxing Day may be a bit tricky. He’s a really talented boy and polite too. He’s got his feet on the ground, I couldn’t speak more highly of him.”
Moyes is equally thrilled with the signing, praising Aguerd’s character during negotiations ahead of the deal being completed. He told West Ham’s website: “I am delighted to welcome Nayef to West Ham United,” Moyes added. “We have tracked his progress for some time and I’m very pleased that we have been able to complete the signing. He’s a great addition that will add to our defensive options.
“I have been really impressed with Nayef’s character and attitude during our discussions. He has a great desire to improve and be successful, and I am sure he will fit in very well to the environment we have at Rush Green.”
Source by Football London