West Ham have been linked with various defenders amidst reports suggesting Winston Reid’s on his way out, with the latest being Watford’s Gabriele Angella according to an Italian outlet.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has made clear with his comments in the media this week that he doesn’t expect Reid to sign a new deal and even suggested that another Premier League club may have made an illegal agreement with the 26-year-old.
If this is to be the case, then it is likely Reid will move – probably to Arsenal – at the end of the campaign when his contract expires. Allardyce, though, is already planning for his inevitable departure and has lined up Italian centre-half Angella as his replacement.
The 25-year-old defender has attracted a lot of attention since his move from Udinese to the Championship in 2013, making 59 appearances and impressing fans with his commanding performances.
Angella has stated he is happy at Watford and is keen to help the side win the league this term, but an approach from the Hammers in the summer could tempt the former Italy Under-21 international, particularly if they don’t achieve promotion.
The defender certainly has Premier League quality and he continues to show great attributes in the heart of the Watford back-line. He’s strong in the tackle, has excellent concentration and is a comfortable passer of the ball.
Furthermore, he is a big threat when attacking set pieces – he has one goal and two assists in 13 league appearances this season – but is just as effective when defending them in his own box.
Angella would fit in perfectly in east London and could be a key addition should West Ham finish in a European position this season – a factor which may be vital in convincing the defender to join.
West Brom and his former side, Udinese, are also thought to be interested in signing him which could pose a problem for the Irons.
Reid has been good for the club, but he is not irreplaceable and Angella could be a cheap answer to what many are expecting to be a big problem for Allardyce.
Other names that have been mentioned as possible targets for the club are Marseille’s Nicolas N'Koulou and Fulham’s Dan Burn.
N’Koulou was recommended to the club by Alex Song but he is thought to be an ambitious target. Burn, on the other hand, looks a promising defender and would be more gettable for the Hammers.
At present, though, Angella looks to be the stand-out candidate to take over Reid’s position in the summer.