Defensive reinforcements are desperately needed at West Ham, and while right-back isn’t a massive need, improving depth and competition at the position would be welcomed.
Ben Johnson and Ryan Fredericks currently fill the two roster spots allocated for right-back and, despite their performance against Bournemouth in the Betway Cup, this is a solid battery. With links emerging for another right-back how can West Ham justify spending on this position?
Some quite rumblings have surfaced that West Ham could be interested in Cardiff City’s Callum Paterson at right-back. As mentioned, the club has two right-backs now so Paterson’s recruitment would be suspect, however, there are a couple of reasons why this recruitment could make sense.
As it stands, Ben Johnson is the starting right-back for West Ham. Put aside his play against Bournemouth and it’s clear to see why. He’s quick, covers defensively very well, can overlap with ease while not being defensively irresponsible. At 20-years-old, he is a player to build around.
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However, if David Moyes doesn’t think he is Premier League quality yet could a loan move be on the books if Paterson is brought in? it seems very unlikely, seeing as Johnson is currently the best left-back at the club as well. Don’t count on Johnson leaving the club regardless of the club buying a new right-back.
The more realistic option would be Ryan Fredericks being moved on from the team. A Fredericks swap could actually happen if Cardiff want to immediately fill the position, too. If not, a move to the Championship would be more likely now that Southampton have brought in Kyle Walker-Peters after expressing interest in Fredericks.
At 25-years-old, Paterson is an age upgrade on Fredericks (27) and last season in all competitions Paterson had seven goals and one assist in 42 matches. This compares to Fredericks who had three assists in 27 matches. Forget production, Paterson is clearly a reliability upgrade on the oft-injured Fredericks.
Another wrinkle in this potential deal is that Paterson is a Scottish International who featured as recently as this week during the pre-season international matches. Moyes is, of course, Scottish as well and could be an admirer of the solid defender.
It’ll be more waiting and seeing in regards to any signings at West Ham as all attention is currently on signing James Tarkowski of Burnley. Once completed or moved on from, the Hammers will have little time to get Paterson or any fullbacks in.