West Ham are in talks to sign Rennes centre-back Nayef Aguerd.
90min have reported that the Hammers are closing in on a deal for the highly rated Moroccan defender.
We have analysed why David Moyes is believed to be keen on the transfer and why he’d be an ideal fit in claret and blue.
West Ham are nearing the signing of Nayef Aguerd. We have scouted him and here is why Aguerd would be a fantastic addition.
The 27-year-old began his career in his homeland of Morocco with FUS Rabat winning the league title before moving to France to play for Dijon. He was also part of the Morocco squad that won the African Cup of Nations in 2018. Aguerd then made the switch to Rennes for a rumoured £4million helping the side finish 6th and 4th in Ligue 1 in his two seasons there.
Aguerd has grown in recent years into becoming one of the standout centre-backs in France.
He would slot into the West Ham back four perfectly because he is exceptional in the air winning 3.5 aerial duels per match. Additionally, he has scored two goals this season and Moyes likes defenders who can chip in with goals due to West Ham’s set piece strength. He ranks 6th for the most aerial duels won in the league this season.
However, Aguerd is more than just a centre-back who dominants in both boxes, he is known for his exceptional passing too.
His progressive passing and great ball carrying out from the back can help begin counter attacks (which West Ham are great at creating chances from) as well as play a big part in helping to break down an opponent using a low block defensive structure. The Irons have struggled to break down teams sitting deep against them this season.
Rennes use Aguerd for build-up regualrly highlighting this benefit of his play. He’s in the top 90% for passes attempted and the top 84% for passes completed compared to other centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues, according to fbref.
Last season he rated in the top three players in Ligue 1 for touches, progressive passing distance and percentage of successful pressures.
It is also worth noting that the man compared to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is left footed making him a natural replacement for Angelo Ogbonna, plus, it would allow Kurt Zouma to move back to his preffered right hand side of the two central defenders.
Of course, Craig Dawson has enjoyed a fantastic season and Aguerd would have to earn his place in the team as Moyes rarely introduces new signings straight away.
The price to complete a deal for Aguerd is not reported but a bid of around £20million should be enough to bring him to West Ham making him an afforadble option too.
We know that Moyes and Head of Recruitment Rob Newman have been closely scouting the French division as they believe there is bargains to be had there.