West Ham have had a productive summer in the transfer market but it could be argued that their best piece of business was holding on to influential defender Winston Reid.
The 26-year-old has been a central figure at the heart of the Hammers defence for the past two seasons which has led to interest from a number of clubs, with Arsenal emerging as the front runners.
The window is not shut yet and Arsene Wenger could be tempted to lodge a bid for the New Zealand man. However, at such a late stage and with Allardyce unlikely to find a replacement in time, it would be highly unlikely he’d be allowed to leave the club.
Reid, whose current contract expires in 2015, has been offered a new long-term deal to stay on at Upton Park but has yet to put pen to paper.
This could potentially mean his exit is impending with bigger clubs calling and by not selling now West Ham are at risk of losing him for nothing next summer.
Despite this, it would appear that he will almost definitely be at the club for the 2014/15 season at the very least, which is crucial for an Irons side lacking depth and quality in the centre-back position.
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Reid is accustomed to Premier League football, having played nearly 100 games in England and adapted immediately to the pace and power involved in the top flight, growing in confidence with every game.
He is well built, with a 6ft 3in frame, and rarely beaten in the air. He’s also versatile, with the ability to play at right back very capably. During his four years with the Hammers he has been very consistent, but last campaign was not his best in terms of appearances and injuries.
Also, after returning from injury last season he didn’t look like the same player that Hammers fans know and love – mopping up for his colleagues, reading the game before his opposing striker and getting last minute clearances in.
Reid looked rusty and at some points towards the end of the campaign was extremely hesitant – he was misjudging long balls and letting them bounce, other times he was misjudging his jump to clear it.
This could perhaps be put down to a lack of match sharpness after his spell on the sidelines, which is bound to affect confidence, but his absence in the side was certainly conspicuous.
If West Ham are to meet their ambitious season objectives then they need him to be a constant figure in the team this year and to recapture the formidable form that saw his reputation at the club saw.
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