Why West Ham should make a move for Thomas Meunier in January
Back in February 2017, Belgium international Thomas Meunier revealed that he had rejected a move to the Premier League in favour of Paris Saint-Germain. One of the Premier League clubs interested in the right-back was West Ham.
Thomas Meunier, 28, joined Paris Saint-Germain from Club Brugge in the summer of 2016 and has gone on to make more than 100 appearances across all competitions.
He has never been able to cement his spot in the first-team and came close to leaving the Ligue 1 club in the summer.
However, the Belgian stayed put at the club and is now hoping to earn a new contract as he has already entered the final year of his current deal. He has played just two of PSG’s five Ligue 1 games this season, with Thilo Kehrer and Colin Dagba competing with him for game time.
Given Meunier isn’t the first-choice at right-back under Thomas Tuchel, West Ham should look to take advantage of the situation and plot a January swoop for the 28-year-old.
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini had put more emphasis on signing attack-minded players over the summer. The Hammers spent big on Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals, with the former quickly becoming a fan favourite at the London Stadium.
So, Pellegrini should focus on strengthening his defence and midfield in the next transfer window after seeing his team struggle defensively. Apart from a reliable centre-back and a solid central midfielder, the West Ham tactician should also invest in a new right-back.
Pablo Zabaleta is an ageing full-back who is in the final year of his contract at the London Stadium, while Ryan Fredericks is defensively suspect. Plus, the Hammers sold Sam Byram to newly-promoted Norwich City in the summer.
An ideal option for West Ham could be Thomas Meunier. He could be potentially available on a cut-price deal in January and the east Londoners should be all over the PSG right-back.
Meunier is an attacking right-back, renowned for his pace, energy and crossing ability. He is quick along the ground, robust in the challenge and is vastly experienced playing at the very highest level.
The Belgian isn’t the most defensively stable but he more than makes up for it with his ability to be a playmaker on the right side.
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The ex-Club Brugge man has a good physique and wouldn’t shirk the physical challenges that he’ll have to test himself against in the Premier League. Meunier is a quality full-back and would provide stiff competition for Fredericks.
Meunier’s tons of European experience and international pedigree would make him such a fantastic addition to West Ham’s defensive ranks. And on a potential bargain deal in the New Year, it’s a no-brainer for Pellegrini’s club.