West Ham United should target Norwich star Max Aarons or Tottenham outcast Serge Aurier if Ryan Fredericks fails to step up this season.
Fredericks is something of an enigma.
The pacy right-back was the first arrival of the Manuel Pellegrini era at West Ham.
But he struggled to establish himself in his debut season following a free transfer from Fulham.
Time for Fredericks to step up
Fredericks’s performances have steadily improved but he continues to start games in a nervous fashion.
His performance against Aston Villa last time out was the kind of display that will see him hold onto the right-back berth long-term.
But confidence and consistency are a major issue for the 26-year-old.
Veteran Pablo Zabaleta is taking a back seat in what is his last season in English football.
So West Ham cannot wait forever for Fredericks to show he is the club’s answer to that position in the medium and long-term.
Pellegrini will be all too aware of that fact.
He has young Ben Johnson waiting in the wings to be back-up at the very least from next season.
But if Fredericks fails to shine, the Hammers should target two current Premier League right-backs as his replacement.
Max power for Pellegrini?
Max Aarons is just 19 but has been a revelation for newly-promoted Norwich. If you thought Fredericks was fast, Aarons is even more rapid.
The attack-minded fullback is an England Under 21 international and would make a superb signing.
There would be no shortage of takers but with question marks over Aarons’s defensive abilities, a club like West Ham would be the perfect next step for his career.
If Norwich are relegated he will be a lot cheaper. If they survive, it may make the deal too expensive.
Spurs outcast Aurier another option?
Another option could be Spurs outcast Serge Aurier.
The Ivory Coast international is vastly more experienced at the top level than Fredericks despite being the same age.
Aurier has failed to establish himself at Tottenham, though, making only 41 appearances since joining in 2017.
He has four goals and a number of assists in that time but has been kept out of the side by firstly Kieran Trippier and now Kyle Walker-Peters.
Aurier was linked with a move away from Tottenham in the summer. His contract expires in 2022 so Spurs might want to cut their losses on a player who cost them £23million.
And that could make the deal viable for West Ham.