West Ham have been enjoying a superb season so far, sitting 5th in the table, just the one point off the Champions League spots.
Their January recruitment could be key in helping them on their European charge this season, with Champions League qualification within their grasp – and it looks as though they have identified potential candidates to strengthen the team.
The Hammers have been without Kurt Zouma since mid-December, and he’s still yet to feature since. With that in mind, a central defender seems to be top of the list.
The latest reports suggest that the Hammers are after defenders this month, with Nat Phillips and James Tarkowski tipped to be on West Ham’s radar by The West Ham Way, which is fronted by noted insider ExWHUemployee.
Would you prefer Phillips or Tarkowski at West Ham?
Writing for The West Ham Way on Patreon, the following was relayed: “The club are pushing through with centre-back recruits as well as monitoring the progress of Zouma. It is believed that Nat Philips of Liverpool and James Tarkowski of Burnley are the lead candidates and we are seeing what deal can be concluded. Malang Sarr and a number of others that I have covered before remain backup options.”
TIF Thoughts on West Ham United’s transfer plans…
Both Phillips and Tarkowski could be very good signings for the Hammers as they look to strengthen at the back. Their varying importance to their current clubs may suggest Phillips would be the cheaper option.
Phillips was impressive for Liverpool last season, being thrown into the deep end during their injury crisis. He averaged a 7.19 match rating for the Reds last term, according to SofaScore.
This season, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip returning, game time has been limited, so a permanent move would perhaps make sense. He has featured in the Champions League, so has that valuable experience to add to the West Ham dressing room.
Meanwhile, Tarkowski has only missed one Premier League game so far this season, conveying his importance to the Clarets’ defence. He has been at Turf Moor since 2016, but the chance to play for European contenders may be hard to reject.
In summary, it seems both defenders could be viewed as realistic targets – though whether West Ham formally pursue either player in the coming days and weeks remains to be seen.
In other news: have a go at our latest West Ham quiz here