Micah Richards not best the man to reinforce West Ham defence

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Reports are gathering pace the Micah Richards is set to end his 11 year spell at Manchester City, with a move to West Ham likely to be his destination as he looks to reinvigorate his career.

Sam Allardyce is reportedly confident of bagging defensive reinforcements by the end of the week, with a £9m move for Richards a possibility.

With the Hammers already boasting a number of players who can play in his preferred right-back position, it is likely Richards will have to convert to centre back should he join the east London side.

But at a reported £8m, this looks an astonishing amount of money for a player who has played so little football (12 starts in two seasons) in recent years.

There are at least a trio of players who would slot into the claret and blue line up at a fraction of the price, without a huge injury hoodoo hanging over their head.

Geoff Cameron

The American international was left out of Mark Hughes’ opening day Stoke squad at the weekend fuelling rumours his spell at the Britannia was nearing a climax.

And with the reported reason for their fall-out being Hughes’ lack of desire to play Cameron in his more comfortable centre back slot, a move to Upton Park could solve that problem.

His stats speak for themselves, with the 29-year-old completing an average of three tackles per game in the last two seasons, more than every one of James Collins, Winston Reid and James Tomkins.

Kolo Toure

He may be approaching the twilight of his career, but Toure’s class is still plain to see.

A starting berth at Liverpool became rarer and rarer as last season went on, and with Dejan Lovren arriving at Anfield, chances may become fewer still.

He reportedly turned down a move to Trabzonspor last week in order to stay in the Premier League, stating he feels it would be wrong to join a ‘lower league’ at this stage.

Depending on whether he is happy or not sitting on the bench in the north-west simply collecting his wage slip, there are far worse options for Allardyce to look at.

Nedum Onuoha

Like Micah Richards, Onuoha was tipped for big things as a youngster at Manchester City, but once the millions arrived, he found his opportunities to impress limited.

He seems to have found some consistency at QPR, and was a mainstay in the side that brought them back to the Premier League last season.

But like many others around the league, summer signings could spell his end of first team football at the club.

A defensive partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Stephen Caulker looks the option of choice for Harry Redknapp at Loftus Road, and it would surely require injuries for Onuoha to force his way in.

A move across the capital could be just the ticket for the Nigerian-born defender, while filling West Ham’s defensive frailties in one swoop.

The Hammers take on Crystal Palace at the weekend and are 21/10 to get their first win of the season on the board.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.