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No Diop, no problem – West Ham must focus on signing this solid 19-year-old wall with €15m buyout clause

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West Ham Opinion: Why the Hammers should make a move for Ozan Kabak?

West Ham have enjoyed a solid start to the summer transfer window, and it doesn’t look like the wheels are ready to stop.

Manuel Pellegrini signed two experienced goalkeepers in Roberto Jimenez and David Martin to cover and compete with his no.1 Lukasz Fabianski. He has then pulled a major coup by signing playmaker Pablo Fornals from Villarreal.

And now, as per the Guardian, the Hammers want to bolster their defensive options by signing Stuttgart centre-back Ozan Kabak. The Turkish defender, 19, only joined Stuttgart in January from Galatasaray and impressed with his performances, although he couldn’t help the club avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.

The report claims that Ozan Kabak now has a €15million release clause in his deal, which West Ham are now looking to trigger. Given how the teenager has impressed in the Bundesliga in a short period of time, Pellegrini and co. would be right in activating the player’s release clause.

West Ham signed Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop last summer to bolster their options in central defence. After a slow start, the duo formed a strong partnership at the back. While Balbuena got injured in January and missed up to two months of action, Diop became the natural leader of the backline and dished out a series of impressive performances.

Diop enjoyed an impressive first season with West Ham after joining for £22m from Toulouse, featuring in 33 Premier League games last term. His performances have caught the attention of Manchester United, who are believed to be willing to offer in excess of £45million, as per the Express.

With United rebuilding their squad under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and having the financial clout as well as the pulling power, signing Diop wouldn’t be much of a problem for them. If West Ham agrees to sell the French defender after just a season, Ozan Kabak would be perfect to replace Diop at the London Stadium.

Kabak is a tall, strong, robust and tough-tackling centre-back, with fantastic composure on the ball. Despite his tender years, he is fearless as the teenager never hesitates to go toe-to-toe with physically strong forwards in the air. The Turkish youngster also has Champions League experience under his belt and the versatility to slot in front of the back four when required.

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The ex-Galatasaray man is a defender with huge potential and one that won’t break the bank for West Ham.

Verdict

Kabak might just be 19, with only half a season of experience in the Bundesliga. But, his performances have shown the capability of matching up to the next level and adjusting to new surroundings without much fuss.

Hence, West Ham shouldn’t hesitate splashing the cash on the emerging Turkish talent this summer.

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