According to former Manchester City and Leeds United star Danny Mills, West Ham would benefit from signing Liverpool outcast Nathaniel Clyne.
He’s touted the injury-prone right-back as a replacement for Ryan Fredricks, who has been ruled out of action for up to a month.
Mills believes that Clyne has been unlucky with both injuries and the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold during his time on Merseyside.
He told Football Insider:
I think he’s a very good player, a very good defender and he’s been unfortunate. Somebody, once he gets himself a 100% fit, will benefit greatly from the player that he is.
This assertion, however, is fraught with a couple of glaring assumptions.
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One is whether Clyne will be able to stay fit; he has just come back from a six-month lay off with an ACL injury.
Clyne has never been celebrated as a particularly combative full-back, and injuries aside this was one of the main factors behind him losing his spot at Liverpool.
With this in mind, an opinion on whether Clyne is likely to replicate the sort of form he showed both at Southampton and Liverpool is reliant on his continued defensive nouse.
In comparison to West Ham’s current options, Clyne appears to be a moderately risk-free addition.
Whilst his 2.4 tackles per game don’t quite match up to Fredricks’s 3.2 he is less inclined to foul his man (0.6 compared to 1.2 fouls per game) and therefore appears to offer a higher tackle success rate.
In spite of this, however, his lack of pace and a cautious mentality means that should West Ham wish to play a high line, I think Clyne will struggle with his adept positioning.
David Moyes experimented with a three-man defence somewhat successfully against Sheffield United.
Therefore, there is reason to suggest that Moyes would see little benefit in signing a player who shares similarities with the ageing but defensively competent Pablo Zabaleta.
Ultimately, I see little benefit for either player or club in pursuing said deal, as Moyes looks to build a more expansive possession-based team that quickly transitions play high up the pitch.