Premier League transfer news: West Ham target £30m Championship star

Norwich defender and West Ham target Max Aarons in action against Watford

West Ham have joined the race to sign Norwich defender Max Aarons this summer, according to The Independent.

What’s the latest news involving Aarons?

Aarons has reportedly been told that he can leave the Canaries, who have slapped a £30m price-tag on the right-back.

This seems to have caught the attention of the Hammers, who are keen on bringing the 21-year-old to the London Stadium ahead of another top four push next season. 

They are not the first club to spot his talent, as the England Under-21 international has admirers all over Europe. He has previously been linked with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Roma and Tottenham, whilst Everton are also said to be keen on the youngster.

Aarons would prefer to stay in the south, though, indicating that he would choose West Ham over the Toffees if it comes down to those two teams.

How has he fared for Norwich this season?

He has started 42 of Norwich’s 43 Championship games this term, helping the side earn promotion back to the Premier League.

As per WhoScored, he has been one of Norwich’s chief creators, delivering 58 key passes. This puts him ahead of West Ham’s best performer in this category, Aaron Cresswell (43).

The full-back is not afraid to carry the ball forwards either. He has successfully completed 57 dribbles in 2020/21 – Said Benrahma has been the Irons’ best dribbler, but has only managed 34.

Does he get into West Ham’s starting line-up?

Despite his impressive performances this year, Aarons probably would not displace Vladimir Coufal at this point.

Although Aarons may have the upper hand over his Czech counterpart when it comes to key passes and dribbling, Coufal has the superior defensive statistics.

He has made 66 tackles to Aarons’ 29, and holds the edge when it comes to interceptions (37 to 35). He has managed these numbers in 14 fewer games than Aarons, and playing in a higher division.

This has led to Coufal receiving an average game rating from WhoScored of 6.95, whereas Aarons is slightly below him at 6.91. Given that Coufal is 28 and seemingly at the peak of his powers, it is going to be difficult for David Moyes to drop him in favour of Aarons.

A mistake from Moyes?

It appears that way.

There is no doubting Aarons’ quality – he would not have so many potential suitors otherwise. The question is: does Moyes really need him?

The Scot already has Coufal at his disposal, and his current right-back has not let him down throughout the campaign. Meanwhile, West Ham only have one recognised striker in their squad, Michail Antonio, who has battled with injuries this year.

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Add into the mix that the team have an ageing goalkeeper in Lukasz Fabianski who has conceded 10 goals in his last four games, and the club are trying to negotiate a permanent deal for Jesse Lingard, and it seems that signing a new right-back should be way down Moyes’ priority list.

The side are on course to qualify for Europe, meaning that their fixture list is only going to become more demanding in 2021/22. Moyes would be better off spending £30m on sorting out his goalkeeping situation or finding someone to share the workload with Antonio – the Irons have only ever spent more than that on a single player twice in their entire history.

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