Despite a recent upturn in form, West Ham United still have the worst defensive record of any club outside the Premier League’s bottom four. But the Irons could be set to acquire some defensive steel in January, in the form of Patrice Evra.
The deal the Hammers are reportedly close to securing, will see the 35-year-old left-back joining on loan from Juventus in January, with Simone Zaza ending his loan spell at London Stadium to return to the Italian giants.
Securing the services of Evra would certainly appear to be a great piece of business for Bilic, as he looks to continue the capital club’s turnaround.
The veteran Frenchman was a bonafide legend during his time at Manchester United, lifting the Premier League five times, as well as picking up a Champions League winners medal, and starring in three victorious League Cup finals.
Despite his advancing years, he remains a real creative presence on the left flank, while the former Monaco man’s reading of the game and clean tackling mean he’s still an extremely reliable figure at the back.
As for Zaza, many Hammers’ fans would probably fail to notice if the striker heads back to Turin in the coming weeks.
He’s failed to score or provide an assist in 11 games since joining the club in the summer, and the man who hit double figures in Serie A in 2014-15 will likely be keen to head home in an attempt to rediscover his form.
With the Old Lady defensively strong but currently outscored by their title rivals, letting a squad player leave in favour of bringing back a centre-forward with a proven record in Italy also seems to make sense.
A good move for both parties if it happens, and one which could help the Hammers cement their place in the top half of the table.
West Ham are next in action at Leicester City on New Year’s Eve, with 13/5 for Bilic’s men to record a fourth win on the trot.
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