Rumours linking West Ham with Joel Veltman have now reached the Dutch media. Last week, The Daily Mail claimed West Ham were interested in signing Ajax defender Veltman.
Now, this has been backed up by reports in Holland. According to De Telegraaf, West Ham have made contact with Veltman’s representatives as they consider a swoop.
Veltman is open to leaving Ajax this summer. As reported by De Telegraaf (via Google’s translation tool), he said: “I am open to a transfer. I am now 27, I have a one-year contract after this and this is a good moment in itself. But it’s still a bit of coffee grounds. There is certainly some interest, but not really concrete yet. “
The 19-cap Netherlands international has opened the door to a potential West Ham move. If Manuel Pellegrini decides to sign Veltman, he could bolster his defensive options.
Joel Veltman signing: The potential implications
Veltman has been with Ajax for his entire senior career, operating anywhere across the back four but predominantly as a right-back. This is interesting because it is an area which arguably does not need strengthening.
The Hammers have Ryan Fredericks, who impressed at the end of last season and will hope to kick on next term. Then, Pablo Zabaleta provides cover and youngster Ben Johnson is highly-rated by Pellegrini.
If Veltman comes in, that could suggest that one of these right-backs will leave. Alternatively, Pellegrini could sign the 27-year-old to provide cover at centre-back or left-back.
If one defensive position needs urgent attention, it is probably the left-back department. Aaron Cresswell’s injury problems are concerning and Arthur Masuaku’s defending has been questioned at times.
But there are better options for the left-back role than Veltman. Obviously, a left-footed full-back would be the preferable option. These Veltman rumours are gathering pace but it is unclear why Pellegrini wants him.