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Report: Moyes hopes to begin 'changing of the guard' at West Ham with move for £40m+ rated talent

West Ham are tracking Lille and Holland defender Sven Botman ahead of a summer rebuild that David Moyes hopes will be his own ‘changing of the guard’ moment according to the Evening Standard.

West Ham signed defender Kurt Zouma from Chelsea in the summer. But, with the long-term future of Angelo Ogbonna unclear due to his problems with injury and the longevity of Craig Dawson in question, Moyes wants a long term partner for Zouma.

They aren’t alone in their interest, however, so they will have to move quickly.

Botman in demand

In January, Newcastle, newly rich from a club takeover, tried to persuade Lille to sell their star centre back with a multitude of bids encroaching upon the £42 million mark according to Fabrizio Romano. Lille, with a Champions League knockout campaign on their mind, told any potential suitors to wait until the summer.

It is a testament to the ability of this young man that these numbers are being floated around and at 22 years old, his price will only rise.

David Moyes is said to desire a centre back with a left-footed ‘profile’ to balance his defence. Botman certainly fits the bill.

Unfortunately, that bill is one that half of the top teams in Europe need to pay. AC Millan especially, are known to have a keen interest in the Dutch international.

A spot next to Fiyako Tomori in the heart of the Milan defence would appeal to any player and with the team currently topping the Serie A, It will be critical that West Ham secure some sort of European football for next season if they hope to stand any chance of attracting the Dutchman to the London Stadium.

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TBR View: This could be a transformative signing for West Ham

West Ham have struggled with injuries at the back this season and have relied upon the defensive pairing of Craig Dawson and Kurt Zouma for the majority of the year.

Though they have by no means been bad together, you have to feel that there is room for improvement.

Craig Dawson lacks the mobility and ball-playing skills of the modern centre back and at 31 years old, his pace is beginning to fail him.

Botman adds a cultured left foot to a defensive pairing that has been solely right-footed throughout the season.

This would allow for quicker ball movement along the backline while also providing more progressive long balls for West Ham’s wingers to chase.

He has also been relatively injury-free, missing only one game in Lille’s Ligue 1 winning season last year.

With Zouma and Botman at the back, West Ham would have defensive pair who complement each other (Zouma the more aggressive sweeper, Botman more positionally aware). They both have good Champions League experience and would bring authority to West Ham’s backline.

Moyes has spoken about starting a ‘changing of the guard’, Botman would be a good start.

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