Nayef Aguerd set for West Ham medical: What will he add to David Moyes’ XI?

West Ham are thought to be nearing their first signing of the summer transfer window in the form of Rennes centre-back Nayef Aguerd.
Ahead of transfer season, David Moyes pinpointed the centre of his defence as an area of utmost priority in terms of securing reinforcements and he could do so by the end of this week, the Evening Standard understands.

Wednesday’s report states that Aguerd, 26, has travelled to London from his international camp with Morocco to complete a medical ahead of a £20m switch.

The fee is expected to rise subject to various add-ons including performance-based targets and the signing could be announced in the coming days.

The latest developments follow on from his current manager, Bruno Genesio’s comments last week almost admitting defeat in the hopes of retaining his player.

“It is true that there are advanced discussions concerning Nayef, that he expressed the desire to live another adventure,” he told L’Équipe.

“In these moments, it is always difficult to retain a player. There is a good chance that Nayef will no longer be at Rennes next year.”

Via: Hammers.News

Aguerd has played a pivotal role for Rennes since joining from Ligue 1 rivals Dijon and helped his side to a sixth-placed finish in 20/21 before securing fourth place and Europa League football in 21/22.

What are West Ham getting with Nayef Aguerd?

Vitally for West Ham, Nayef Aguerd is a left-sided centre-back who will help provide depth amid Angelo Ogbonna’s tarnished injury record of late.

Aguerd’s defensive stats exhibit his strength in that regard, although it is perhaps not his strongest suit. He was in the 84th percentile among players in his position in the French top-flight last season for the number of times dribbled past per 90 minutes with an average of just 0.36.

It’s in possession where he shines, however. Aguerd is comfortable receiving the ball under pressure and has the awareness to see the game around him to ensure ball retention.

His influence goes beyond simply recycling possession and into the realms of starting attacking moves and breaking opposition lines with his passing range.

This will pique the interest of West Ham’s attackers such as Jarrod Bowen who tend to prosper on the counter-attack. Aguerd’s ability to spot opportunities to punish high-positioned opponents will be a valuable addition to this aspect of the Hammers’ approach.

Additional positions David Moyes and West Ham are eager to strengthen are striker and on the flanks with Real Sociedad’s Adnan Januzaj emerging as a surprise target. The East London side are also looking to make the loan of Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola permanent.