West Ham are on the verge of securing their second signing of the January transfer window though it is not the transfer fans were hoping for. The Hammers have been looking actively for a new striker to replace Sebastien Haller, but instead are no close to signing a defender.
There is still time to sign a new striker, however, and the new defender is someone fans should be excited about. Matthew Bondswell has been reported to be on ‘the verge’ of signing for West Ham, who have beaten off competition from Chelsea and Leeds for the youngster.
The defender is very promising and is only 18-years-old and has represented England at every youth level up to the under 18s. Bondswell was picked up by RB Leipzig in the 2018/19 season when the German side poached him from Nottingham Forrest’s academy.
Bondswell could join Frederik Alves as one of West Ham’s January transfers. The Dane defender joined the club earlier in the month and is yet to play for the first-team. He has, however, made the bench on multiple occasions.
West Ham are expected to sign a striker before the end of the January transfer window despite closing in on Matthew Bondswell.
A deal for Bondswell will not break the West Ham bank. The youth player is currently on loan from Leipzig to Keuken Kampioen Divisie (Holland’s second division) side FC Dordrecht. There the defender has appeared in six games, playing only 468 minutes.
The Hammers were linked with Bondswell just over a month ago and it looks like he could be the next player to become wear the claret and blue. The defender, however, is unlikely to wear the jersey for the first team just yet.
It is more probable that Bondswell is likely to be placed in the academy. It would be hoped that he would be the long-term successor to Arthur Masuaku and Aaron Cresswell. The 18-year-old will have to prove that he is a better prospect than Emmanuel Longelo, the current academy member has impressed in his minimal minutes for the first-team.
This could be good for Bondswell’s career. With David Moyes in charge, he will be given opportunities to impress. The Scottish manager has given plenty of game time to academy players this season and will likely continue to do so.
It is, of course, good news that the club are strengthening the youth academy and safeguarding the future. There is still urgent need in the present that a striker is signed for the first-team if the club are to have a good second half of the season.