West Ham boss David Moyes may well have the solution to Angelo Ogbonna being ruled out for the rest of the season right under his nose in the form of Aji Alese.
The 33-year-old Italian suffered an ACL injury against Liverpool at the start of last month and he probably won’t be back in training for at least six-nine months.
Losing the Italian for such a prolonged period of time was obviously a huge blow for West Ham.
We believe Moyes would be smart to keep his powder dry for attacking players, however.
David Moyes has perfect replacement for Angelo Ogbonna under this nose
20-year-old Aji Alese has been outstanding for West Ham’s under-23s over the past couple of years.
The Ogbonna injury threatened to derail the Hammers’ season.
But rather than spend millions of pounds to solve that problem, Moyes should call upon Alese. He’s more than ready.
The young West Ham centre-back could follow in Ben Johnson’s footsteps. Having filled in for Vladimir Coufal, the 21-year-old hasn’t looked back since.
Johnson has proven that if you’re good enough, Moyes will give you a chance.
And Alese should look at his teammate as inspiration. The 20-year-old centre-back’s time could be now.
Standing at 6ft 4in tall, the young London-born defender is physically imposing and aerially dominant. He is very quick along the ground as well and totally comfortable with the ball at his feet.
And importantly, Alese is left-footed. Our defensive balance seems to have gone out the window after Ogbonna’s injury.
We believe that young Alese could be the ideal long-term replacement for the Italian. Perhaps Moyes thinks he is too young and inexperienced at the moment to play regularly alongside Kurt Zouma in the Premier League.
If the Scot eases him in this season, however, as and when he can, the 20-year-old should be more than ready to feature regularly next term.
That way, Moyes wouldn’t have to spend big either in January or the summer to replace Ogbonna. It seems like an absolute no-brainer to me.