TalkSPORT pundit Kevin Hatchard has been left baffled by West Ham United defender Thilo Kehrer, claiming that he does not offer enough in attack or defence.
The Germany international joined the club from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer for around £10m, but has been unconvincing so far, covering at centre-back in the absence of Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd.
The defender can play anywhere across the backline, which made him an attractive rotation option for the club in the summer, but Hatchard has claimed that he does not offer enough in either position to justify his place in the team.
Speaking on the TalkSPORT Gameday Podcast, Hatchard expressed his disbelief that Kehrer has made it into Germany squads and questioned his ability across the backline.
“Defensively, I think there are problems. Kehrer. I found it curious he was in the Germany team as often as he was, I found it gobsmacking that he was signed by Paris. I don’t get it,” he stated.
“I don’t understand, there’s a decent player there, but I think he doesn’t give you enough as a full-back going forward and he’s not solid enough defensively to play as a centre-back, so I’m not quite sure.”
TIF thoughts on Kehrer…
The 26-year-old ranks in the bottom 5% of fullbacks for dribbles and the bottom 3% for shot-creating actions as per FBref, emphasising his lack of attacking ability in the position.
When compared to European centre-backs, he ranks in the bottom 2% for dribbles and 9% for aerial duels, further highlighting his inadequacies as a defender in a back four.
He may be able to play alongside more dominant defenders in Zouma and Aguerd in a back three, but we feel his performances have so far not justified him keeping his place once the others return to fitness.
Although he can provide some cover over the course of the season, West Ham may want to consider further strengthening their defensive depth in the January window.