West Ham need to find a long-term solution at left-back.
The current options are reasonable but the Hammers could definitely upgrade.
Manuel Pellegrini might well choose to sign a new left-back, either in January or at the end of the season.
There are two ways he can go about his business. Either he looks for an immediate fix or he tries to sign someone who can provide a long-term solution at the back.
Bristol City defender Lloyd Kelly would fit into the latter category. And he would be a superb signing. Here is why.
Left-back has been a concern for West Ham ever since Aaron Cresswell suffered an injury in pre-season before the 2016/17 campaign kicked off.
Since he returned from that setback, the former Hammer of the Year has never quite been the same.
Once a reliable defender and a regular source of goals and assists down that left flank, Cresswell is a shadow of his former self.
There is still some hope that he can get back to his best but time is running out for the former Ipswich Town man.
Arthur Masuaku has overtaken him in the pecking order. But he is far from the perfect left-back.
His attacking qualities are exciting but his defending is questionable at best. Does Pellegrini keep faith with these two or try to sign someone else?
Kelly’s career so far
Kelly plays for Bristol City in the Championship and is already a key part of their side.
The 20-year-old has played 25 senior matches despite his young age and features regularly for Bristol City this season.
Even though he was a teenager just two weeks ago, Kelly is mature for his age and it shows in his game.
He is confident in his defensive ability and he is able to contribute with forward attacks too. Kelly is a future leader and he captains England at under-20 level.
How good can he be?
The sky is the limit for this Championship starlet. Kelly has the potential to reach the very top level for club and country.
But he must remain grounded and make a wise career move.
At the moment, he is thriving with regular game time at Bristol City. Should he move up to the Premier League before he is ready?
One thing is for certain, though. Kelly definitely has the potential to become West Ham’s long-term solution to the left-back problem.