West Ham United’s defense could undergo a major renovation this summer. Kurt Zouma and Nikola Milenković are two center-back targets that could be making their way to the London Stadium, but the squad still needs a new left-back ahead of the new season.
Shakhtar Donetsk’s left-back Mykola Matviyenko has recently been linked with a move to West Ham, but it is not the first time that his name has been mentioned. The Hammers were interested in the Ukrainian international last year, and the interest has reignited following Euro 2020.
He played for Ukraine’s national team alongside current Hammer Andriy Yarmolenko and was a starter in the team’s defense. Matviyenko grew up in Crimea and has spent all of his professional career with Donetsk.
Following loan spells at Karpaty Lviv and Vorskla Poltava, he made his debut for Shakhtar in October 2015, making 70 league appearances and scoring five goals since then. The 25-year-old has won two Ukrainian Premier League titles and three Ukrainian Cups.
His on-pitch vision is his most important trait, and he is able to assess options up the field before he can move the ball. Matviyenko is able to read the ball in several different scenarios, especially during set pieces and forward-passing attacks.
He often moves into wider positions from set-pieces and deep crosses, which helps him get into space to either shoot or clear the ball. He likes to cross deep inside the box for teammates to head the ball from close range.
Mykola Matviyenko is the attacking defender that West Ham United likes. His crossing ability and free movement allow him to successfully move the ball from the defensive line to the midfield, and he does so with precision and accuracy. The Hammers need a new left-back this summer to help Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku, and West Ham should consider Matviyenko, the man for that job.