Yesterday West Ham confirmed the loan signing of Craig Dawson from Watford for the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
The West Ham announcement of Craig Dawson was welcomed by the usual fan excitement that a new player normally brings. Instead, the announcement faced a mixed reaction from fans. There had been hope that the club would sign a ‘big name’ to bolster the defence.
The club failed with moves for players such as Duje Caleta-Car, Jonathan Tah, Antonio Rudiger, Fikayo Tomori, James Tarkowski and Wesley Fofana. This failure to sign what would be a first choice defender is what led to the loan signing of Dawson.
Dawson joining the club may be a controversial one, but there are still some clear winner and losers from the deal.
Our new No.15… pic.twitter.com/l6hdfLvty6
— West Ham United (@WestHam) October 12, 2020
The 30-year-old defender has suffered two consecutive relegations from the Premier League, firstly with West Brom in 2018/19 and then with Watford in 2019/20. Dawson is certainly a winner form the deal as he gets the opportunity to stay in the Premier League.
“I’m delighted to be here and really looking forward to being back in the Premier League and working with the manager and group of lads,” Dawson said.
It is not often that a player will suffer this fate and be able to stay in the Premier League. The only other name that springs to mind is former Hammer, Roger ‘The Relegator‘ Johnson. There will not be the same pressure on Dawson as there was Johnson. The Englishman is only expected to be a solid back-up when called upon.
Despite the deal being agreed as a loan, there is the possibility of the player staying beyond the end of his current deal. There is an option for West Ham to make the loan deal a permanent one should he impress.
It may not be the signing that Moyes originally planned for, but it is one that can help the squad out. The Scot wanted to sign a player with Premier League experience and to be a leader on and off the pitch.
Moyes praised Dawson for having both of these attributes in his interview about the defender’s arrival. The 57-year-old manager will feel a bit more relaxed having extra depth in the centre-back positions.
“I know he will be a great addition to the dressing-room – he is a committed and determined character. We wish Craig all the best during his time here and I look forward to working with him for the rest of the season.”
But in a season where players are likely to miss games due to injury/quarantining, it is important to have plenty of back-ups. Dawson does fill this role as he can play at centre-back and right-back. In Moyes current five-back system, his utility could be crucial.