Why West Ham should reignite their interest in Connor Goldson
Back in May, a report from Football Insider (h/t Burnley Express) had mentioned West Ham among the potential suitors for Rangers centre-back Connor Goldson. All three eventually-promoted clubs Leeds United, Fulham and West Brom were also understood to be chasing the 27-year-old.
However, a return to English football failed to materialise for Goldson before the summer deadline and he ended up staying put at Ibrox.
Connor Goldson rose through the youth ranks of Shrewsbury Town and made his senior debut in League Two during the 2010-11 season. He had a brief loan stint at Cheltenham Town in the fourth-tier before establishing himself as a regular starter for the Shrews.
The centre-back made 120 appearances for Shrewsbury in all competitions, proving his credentials in League One and League Two, before earning a move to the Championship with Brighton in the summer of 2015. Goldson won promotion to the Premier League with the Seagulls at the end of the 2016-17 season but struggled for regular minutes in the top-flight.
Goldson was snapped up by Rangers in the summer of 2018 and has since established himself as an undisputed starter at the heart of the defence for Steven Gerrard’s side. The 27-year-old has racked up 12 goals in 126 appearances for the Gers across all competitions, carving out a reputation for himself as one of the best central defenders in Scottish football.
Goldson would add more quality to West Ham’s backline
West Ham had been linked with a raft of centre-backs throughout the summer after conceding as many as 62 goals en route to their 16th-place finish in the Premier League last season. However, they failed to get deals over the line for any of their top targets and were eventually forced to settle for a season-long loan deal for Watford defender Craig Dawson before the domestic deadline.
Indeed, Dawson’s arrival has provided David Moyes with some immediate cover and experience at the heart of the defence. But the Hammers shouldn’t really look at the 30-year-old as a long-term solution to what has been a nagging issue at the back over the past 12 months.
Despite all his experience in the PL, Dawson hasn’t been at his best in recent years, suffering relegation twice with West Brom and Watford.
With Angelo Ogbonna not getting any younger at 32 and Fabian Balbuena hardly the most consistent performer in the Premier League, West Ham should ideally line up a younger alternative in the market. Issa Diop has been touted for a bright future but he needs a reliable partner to get the best out of him in the coming years.
To put things into perspective, West Ham should make a renewed attempt to sign Connor Goldson when the market reopens in January. Goldson has proven himself to be a cut above the rest north of the border and certainly deserves another crack of the whip in the Premier League after an unproductive stint at Brighton.
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Connor Goldson has backed up his strong domestic performances for Rangers in the Scottish Premiership with some quality displays against elite opposition in the Europa League. That should be enough to prove he’s ready to make his mark in a more competitive league.
The 27-year-old still has his best years ahead of him as a centre-back and West Ham taking a punt on the Rangers star could well pay off handsomely for their long-term plans moving forward.