Why West Ham United should return for Nikola Maksimovic in January
The club have been on the lookout for defenders throughout the last transfer window and could only manage Craig Dawson on loan deal. With Maksimovic’s contract up at the end of the season, the Hammers could try to sign him as early as January in a cut-price deal. (h/t Football.london)
Nikola Maksimovic recorded over 100 appearances for Sloboda Uzice and Red Star Belgrade in his native Serbia before earning a move to Serie A outfit Torino in the summer of 2013. He established himself as a regular starter at Torino, featuring 76 times in all competitions over the course of three seasons before joining domestic rivals Napoli in 2016.
The 28-year-old hasn’t always been a regular starter at Napoli due to stiff competition for places at the back but has still managed 76 appearances in all competitions, scoring twice (h/t Transfermarkt). Maksimovic also had a brief loan spell at Spartak Moscow during the 2017-18 campaign.
A full international for Serbia since 2012, Maksimovic has accumulated 25 caps for his nation so far.
West Ham need Maksimovic in January
Much like previous seasons, West Ham have had a rather mixed start to the season with 3 wins, 3 loses and 2 draws in the Premier League. A switch to a back three formation has helped somewhat but there still remains the issue of quality. Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena clearly aren’t at the level needed by the club.
Adding someone with the ability and experience of Maksimovic could be of help here. The Serbian international has made more than 100 career appearances in the Serie A for Torino and Napoli, while also proving his worth in the Champions League.
That, coupled with his towering 6ft 4in frame means Maksimovic has the physicality to complement his experience at the highest level, which should make it easier for him to cope with the rough-and-tough nature of the English game.
West Ham need to look for a long-term solution to end their centre-back woes and Nikola Maksimovic ticks plenty of boxes to come through the door as a marquee addition to the club’s defensive unit.
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The Serbian still has several years remaining in his prime at 28. The Hammers would be well within their rights to eye a cut-price deal for the defender in January, considering his unresolved contract situation at Napoli.