A reported West Ham move for a Borussia Dortmund star is a big admission from David Moyes that he got it badly wrong in the summer.
After signing a striker, the fundamental areas that badly needed addressing at West Ham in the summer was at fullback.
With Aaron Cresswell, who turns 33 next month, enduring a tough second half of last season after a renaissance under Moyes and Arthur Masuaku being shipped out – it was clear signing a new left-back was vital.
At right-back Vladimir Coufal has been a shadow of the player who became a firm fan favourite and Ben Johnson is struggling to establish himself as a Premier League starter.
West Ham needed young, pacy, modern fullbacks in the summer on both sides. Players who can get up the pitch and help get in behind opposition defences, providing assists and goals.
Coufal and Johnson have been so poor that summer signing Thilo Kehrer has been pushed out to right-back. But he too has struggled.
The signing of Emerson Palmieri from Chelsea was a strange one from Moyes. The Scot has always insisted he only wants to sign players who improve the starting XI.
But Emerson, at 28 and having failed to establish himself at Chelsea under four or five different managers, surely does not fit that remit?
Many questioned whether Emerson was the right signing and enough of an upgrade on Cresswell.
The Italy squad player had just five goals and 10 assists for club and country in 162 games prior to signing for West Ham in a £13.5m deal. Not a great record considering he is often deployed as a left wingback.
A Chelsea expert told Hammers News before Emerson signed that he is ‘reliable but unspectacular‘ – hardly the most ringing of endorsements.
And he has barely played, proving he was not the upgrade on Cresswell that the Hammers needed.
Now a reported West Ham move for a Borussia Dortmund star is a big admission from Moyes that he got it badly wrong in the summer.
According to a report from French publication Jeunes Footeux Moyes wants to bring pacy 57-capped Portugal international right-back Raphael Guerreiro to the London Stadium.
While Guerreiro is himself 28, he has a much more attacking style of play than West Ham’s current incumbents.
He has scored three goals – including two in the Champions League – and has laid on two assists already this season.
Guerreiro also has 11 goals and 13 assists in 55 games for Dortmund before this term.
The Borussia Dortmund website Fear The Wall recently labelled him a ‘world-class’ player’.
And given the swashbuckling Portuguese is out of contract at the end of the season, West Ham will be able to sign him on a pre-contract agreement from January 1st.
Interestingly though, West Ham want to try and steal a march on rival bidders by signing him in January for a nominal fee according to Jeunes Footeux.
With Harrison Ashby’s future uncertain, the reports certainly tally up. But it will be a clear admission from Moyes that he got it badly wrong in the summer by failing to address the right-back position while also getting the left-back situation all wrong too.
There is an age-old saying that a team is only as good as its weakest link. And for West Ham that is unarguably at fullback.