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West Ham must beat off competition for £7.2m-rated man, should they lose Diop – opinion

West Ham United are potentially going to be active in the January transfer window, especially after losing goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski to injury once again. But in front of the sticks, they need to be wary of losing one of their greatest defensive assets, as Issa Diop has been linked with a potential move to Chelsea. Should David Moyes feel he requires cover at the back for the remainder of the season, the Hammers would be wise to beat off competition to secure Watford defender Christian Kabasele, who is touted with a move by Le10 Sport.

There are murmurs that the Belgian defender could extend his deal at Vicarage Road beyond 2021, but if they lose Diop West Ham would be wise to tempt the Hornets star with an offer he cannot refuse. Kabasele has been one of Watford’s best defenders this season and was vital in lifting Nigel Pearson’s side out of the relegation zone for the first time since the campaign began.

No centre-back at the club has averaged more than the Belgian’s 1.9 tackles per match, while only Etienne Capoue eclipses the defender’s 1.9 interceptions per 90 minutes. Furthermore, no Watford player comes close to matching Kabasele’s 5.6 clearances per match in the Premier League this season.

Though there are risks to acquiring the 28-year-old, valued at £7.2m (Transfermarkt), as he is the only player in the entire top flight to have picked up two red cards this season. Discipline has been an issue at Watford this term, and the Belgian defender is at the heart of the problem, but receiving just two yellow cards suggest Kabasele may have been more unfortunate than reckless in his tackles.

With his current deal due to expire at the end of next season, West Ham would be in the driving seat to secure a deal that not only strengthens their side but weakens a relegation rival. However, the Hammers would likely not go forward with the move if they are outpriced by competition from Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United. Though if the timing is right and Moyes feels he needs defensive reinforcements, West Ham could pull off a coup in securing Kabasele’s signature.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Arsenal 0 0 0 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0 0 0 0
3 Brighton & Hov… 0 0 0 0 0
4 Burnley 0 0 0 0 0
5 Chelsea 0 0 0 0 0
6 Crystal Palace 0 0 0 0 0
7 Everton 0 0 0 0 0
8 Fulham 0 0 0 0 0
9 Leeds United 0 0 0 0 0
10 Leicester City 0 0 0 0 0
11 Liverpool 0 0 0 0 0
12 Manchester City 0 0 0 0 0
13 Manchester United 0 0 0 0 0
14 Newcastle United 0 0 0 0 0
15 Sheffield United 0 0 0 0 0
16 Southampton 0 0 0 0 0
17 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 0 0 0
18 West Bromwich Albion 0 0 0 0 0
19 West Ham United 0 0 0 0 0
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0 0 0

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