The transfer dance between West Ham and Burnley over James Tarkowski has dragged on with too much time and cash involved now. Here are three better alternatives.
With time running out before the season starts and a little wider of a birth between now and the end of the transfer window, West Ham are running short on defensive reinforcement options while they tussle with Burnley over English centre-back James Tarkowski.
Despite reports suggesting the player doesn’t want to come and Burnley now rejecting a second bid in the region of £30m, West Ham and David Moyes seem determined to get the defender into the team. Should they drop their pursuit, here are three options that are cheaper and arguably better for the club!
Newcastle – Fabian Schar
Reportedly on their transfer list with a fee of £11m to his name, Swiss International Fabian Schar would be a solid battery-mate for Angelo Ogbonna at West Ham. Newcastle have a ton of centre-back options with Lascelles, Fernandez, Lejeune, and Clark all battling for starting minutes, making Schar spare parts for a solid return.
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As it stands, Schar is 27-years-old, has been capped by the senior Swiss International team 52 times (scoring 8 goals), but his contract expires at the end of this upcoming season. His contract status makes him valuable to move so Mike Ashley can cash in prior to renegotiating or losing him on a free.
He is right-footed, been known to get up and down the pitch at a solid rate, and has been known to shoot a laser into the net from range. He is great in the air and promises to be a solid foil to the Hammers’ already stable left centre-back while challenging Issa Diop for minutes.
Norwich City – Ben Godfrey
If David Moyes wants a young, English team to build around, Ben Godfrey is a player to circle for recruitment. Despite relegation with Premier League promoted side Norwich last season, Godfrey has attracted a lot of interest due to his solid play at central defence.
He may not be cheaper than Tarkowski, with Norwich putting a £50m pricetag on him upon their relegation with teams like RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund chasing him, but the Canaries would be hard-pressed to turn away from ‘Tarkowski’ numbers West Ham are throwing around.
He is right-footed, 22-years-old, and a serious talent to build a squad around, especially if Declan Rice stays at the club. He wouldn’t be a cheaper option, but at 22 compared to 27 with Tarkowski, the value is made up over time through his development.
Shakhtar Donetsk – Mykola Matvienko
Maybe the least known of all three options, but the most likely to happen, Ukrainian International Mykola Matvienko is a name Hammers supporters should all get to know. The versatile defender played 33 games at centre-back, four at left-back, and two at right-back last season with two games under his belt at left-back already.
He is just 24-years-old with a ton of solid experience, having played 63 matches in Ukraine’s Premier Liga, 11 Champions League match and 28 matches for Ukraine’s senior team already. The hope with Matvienko has to be that Yarmolenko would act as an intermediary in negotiations with the player rumoured to be valued at £27m by his club.
James Tarkowski appears to be David Moyes’ top target at the moment and if that is the case, the board should back him as long as the fee is still reasonable. As for back up options, Moyes has a few here to chase down should Burnley decline further interest.