With a season to forget for West Ham United, chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan have started work on bringing in new players to bolster the first team squad. Injuries to Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna has meant that the Hammers are short on centre-backs currently. West Ham are hoping to sign one in the summer with recent reports suggesting that they are close to agreeing on a deal with Hamburg’s Johan Djourou to avoid a similar scenario next season.
The 30-year old is out of contract next month meaning United can start negotiations with the player right way. He will be able to join the Hammers in July after his contract expires with the German club. There have been no talks scheduled of an extension for Djourou as the Swiss international is ready to take on a new challenge in his career.
Despite being announced as the captain of the club in 2015, Djourou has fallen out of favour at Hamburg which is proved by just his 14 appearances this season. With 1.5 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game, he has been in decent form to warrant a starting berth. But that hasn’t come for the former Arsenal man which is why he is ready to leave the club after spending three years in Germany. (Stats via Whoscored)
What will he offer to the club?
Djourou has an experience of playing in the Premier League after spending 11 years with Arsenal which included many loan spells as well. West Ham currently lack a ball playing defender which can be solved by the signing of the 30-year-old who has 66 caps for Switzerland.
He is a decent enough tackler and his positioning sense has often been praised by all of his managers. In the period between 2010 and 2012, Djourou was a crucial player for Arsenal and even if the manager decides not to give him a starting role, he can be a brilliant squad player for the east Londoners.
A centre-back pairing of Johan Djourou and Jose Fonte can prove to be a solid partnership for next season.
Worth the money?
Djourou is available on a free transfer which makes this deal, even more, sweet for the Londoners. Gold and Sullivan had signed him back in 2007 for Birmingham City which may make the negotiations easy for both the parties. West Ham have leaked goals aplenty this season as Djourou can be the catalyst for a meaner looking back line in time for the upcoming league campaign. Besides, it’s unlikely he’ll eat up too much in terms of wages either.