Thilo Kehrer shows David Moyes the way forward for West Ham with his performance for Germany but there’s a big problem.

There are plenty of problems that need fixing at West Ham after a dismal start to the season.

But ask any West Ham fan to name the club’s biggest issues and full-backs won’t be far from the top of the list.

West Ham spent an unprecedented £170m on eight new signings in the summer, including left-back Emerson.

But the 30-year-old Brazilian-born Italian international has never been a top quality player hence the reluctance of five successive Chelsea managers to give him the time of day at Stamford Bridge.

England v Germany: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3
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Emerson was never going to be the answer. West Ham needed young, talented, modern full-backs on both sides to truly keep progressing. Full-backs who get up and down with pace and power and get assists.

Instead they are left relying on old fashioned full-backs the wrong side of 30 in the shape of Emerson, Aaron Cresswell and Vladimir Coufal.

The jury is still out on injury-prone Ben Johnson too.

They say a team is only as strong as its weakest link. And at West Ham that is without a shadow of a doubt the fullbacks.

Some have suggested summer signing Thilo Kehrer, who has quickly become a fan favourite at West Ham, could play at right-back or right wingback.

So when the former PSG man slotted into that position for Germany against England on Monday night, Hammers fans were hoping it might be a Eureka moment for David Moyes.

Kehrer showed Moyes the way forward for West Ham but there’s a big problem.

Because the German made it quite clear in a press conference ahead of the game at Silkeborg that he sees himself as a centre-back and insists that is his preferred position.

“It’s a question I have answered a lot of times,” Kehrer said recently in a West Ham press conference.

“I’m feeling comfortable playing different positions and I always felt that way.

“I don’t like to say ‘this is my favourite position or not’ because at the end there are times that the team needs me to play in some (other) position and then I’m happy to do that.

“But I feel maybe my qualities come out the best as a central defender.”

It is not the first time Keher has made it clear that he feels his best and preferred position is in the middle of defence.

Speaking to Kicker last year, as reported by BuliNews, Kehrer said: “I can play both positions and am also flexible in terms of the formation.

“I can operate on the right in a back four as well as on the right in a 3-4-3. But in the medium term, I think my strengths are best suited to playing in the central defence.”

Kehrer’s versatility is a massive bonus for Moyes and further underlines what a bargain West Ham signing he was for just £10m.

Everton FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

But Kehrer left PSG for the Hammers and would likely have expected to play in his preferred position.

So it gives Moyes a big dilemma. Does he play Kehrer at right-back long-term with – for now at least – Craig Dawson or Angelo Ogbonna at centre-back to be succeeded later in the season by the returning Nayef Aguerd.

Or does he keep Kehrer happy in his preferred position and persist with Coufal and Johnson until he has the chance to reassess the right-back position – which the Scot was trying to strengthen right up to the deadline – in the next window?

Another option is to start playing young Harrison Ashby at right-back. But there is talk he very much looks set for a move to Newcastle either in January or when his West Ham contract expires next summer.


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