Why West Ham should reignite their interest in Guillermo Maripan
Back in May 2019, a report from Football London had claimed that West Ham were interested in signing Chilean international defender Guillermo Maripan, who was then plying his trade with Deportivo Alaves in the La Liga.
However, nothing came of those rumours and the centre-back eventually completed a move to AS Monaco last summer. Maripan was once again on the radar of some English clubs in the recently-concluded summer window, with Newcastle United and Tottenham mentioned among the potential suitors for the 26-year-old.
Born in Santiago, Chile, Guillermo Maripan rose through the youth ranks of Universidad Catolica in his homeland and made 69 appearances in all competitions. He then moved abroad for the first time in his career, signing a four-year deal with Spanish club Deportivo Alves in the summer of 2017.
Maripan was somewhat restricted to a bit-part role during his debut season in Spain but soon established himself as a key component of Alaves’ backline in the following campaign. The 26-year-old featured 48 times in all competitions before departing for French outfit Monaco in 2019.
The towering central defender went on to enjoy an impressive breakthrough season in Ligue 1 last term, starting 20 games before the Covid-19 pandemic brought a premature end to the French top-flight campaign.
A full international for Chile since 2017, Maripan has 24 caps under his belt and guided his nation to a 4th-place finish at the 2019 Copa America in Brazil.
Maripan would add more quality to West Ham’s backline
West Ham had been linked with plenty of centre-backs throughout the summer after conceding as many as 62 goals in the Premier League last season. They bolstered their backline with the addition of Craig Dawson on loan from Watford.
Indeed, Dawson’s arrival is expected to ease the Hammers’ defensive woes for the time being, considering his abundant experience in the Premier League. However, at 30, the former West Brom star certainly doesn’t fit the bill as a long-term fix for David Moyes’ side.
West Ham ideally need to sign a quality centre-back in his prime to ensure stability at the heart of the defence for several years to come. Issa Diop is very much among the best young central defenders in the Premier League but Angelo Ogbonna is not getting any younger at 32. Plus, Fabian Balbuena has struggled for consistency ever since his move to East London.
To put things into perspective, West Ham making a renewed attempt to sign Guillermo Maripan in January could hand a massive boost to the club’s ailing backline. The Chilean centre-back has caught the eye in Spain and France after leaving his homeland in 2017. He looks ready to make the step up to the highly-competitive atmosphere of the Premier League.
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Standing at 6ft 4in, Guillermo Maripan seems to have the physicality to cope with the rough-and-tough nature of the English game. He’s done reasonably well in some of the other top leagues in Europe and still has his best years ahead of him, thus making the Chilean more than worth a punt for West Ham.