West Ham have sign an Emerson upgrade with £8.6m rated “diamond”

West Ham need to bolster their defence in January after shipping 20 goals in 11 Premier League matches this term.


West Ham United have suffered an alarming slump of form in the Premier League, slipping to three defeats on the bounce.

The latest of those on Saturday afternoon encapsulated their problems defensively having fallen to a 3-2 defeat against Brentford despite initially taking a second-half lead through Jarrod Bowen.

In the top flight this term, only Sheffield United, Bournemouth and Luton Town have conceded more expected goals (xGA) than the Hammers 22.60, as per Understat.

Statistically, David Moyes’ side have the fourth worst defence in the division having shipped 20 goals in 11 games and this is a statistic that must improve if they are to climb up on the table.

With January approaching, Moyes could use the transfer window as an opportunity to bolster his defensive ranks.

According to 90min, West Ham are interested in capturing Nantes left-back Quentin Merlin and have sent representatives to watch him at least once this season.

Nonetheless, the Hammers will need to fend off Europe’s big hitters to land his signature, with the 21-year-old said to be attracting the likes of Manchester City, Celtic, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon.


With the left back tied down to a contract till 2026, the French side isn’t at risk of losing him on a cut-price deal in the near future.

He is currently valued at £8.6m (€10m), as per Football Observatory, but on the evidence of his performances this term, Nantes will likely receive a fee much higher than the one touted.

Given Aaron Cresswell has been mooted as a possible departure in recent months, Moyes desperately needs a quality left-back addition to challenge Emerson, who is currently first-choice, and Merlin could be more than capable of supplying that.

Dubbed by football talent scout Jacek Kulig as “one of the most talented full-backs in France”, Merlin has proven himself as a reliable presence on the left-hand side of the Nantes defence.

The Frenchman has featured in ten Ligue 1 matches this term and has been an instrumental figure in their rise up the table, impressing with his dynamism and technical qualities.


When comparing his attacking attributes to Emerson, who has perhaps been held back by the shackles of Moyes’ system, Merlin comes out on top in most departments across the past year, including progressive passes, shot-creating actions and carries into the final third, suggesting that they could land an immense upgrade.

The above metrics suggest that the attacking output Merlin would supply is far greater than the Italian’s, offering a bigger threat with his superb passing range, explosive ball-carrying and quality in the final third.

Although Emerson’s performances have significantly improved this term, West Ham could unearth a “diamond” – as described by journalist Antonio Mango – if they could manage to lure the Frenchman’s wand of a left foot to east London.

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