West Ham are weighing up a potential defensive addition of their own after allowing experienced defender Craig Dawson to jump ship and join fellow relegation strugglers Wolves in a £3.3m deal.
The 32-year-old defender departs the London Stadium after 87 appearances in three seasons for David Moyes’ side. And by moving to Wolves, he will play for his fourth side beginning with ‘W’ in the Premier League after previous spells at Watford and West Brom.
Dawson has signed a deal with the Old Gold until 2025, having previously pushed to make the move over the summer. Back then, West Ham blocked the move while their new centre-halves bedded in.
However, the move has now gone through with the transfer good news for the player, with his family residing in the north.
Dawson, though, feared the chance to sign for Wolves was gone when Bruno Lage departed as manager. However, his successor Julen Lopetegui was keen to add more experience to his backline.
And Dawson now becomes their fourth addition of January after Matheus Cunha, Mario Lemina and Pablo Sarabia.
Explaining their desire to sign him, sporting director Matt Hobbs explained the thinking to his club’s official website.
“Everyone will be aware it’s a signing we tried to do last window and it fell through in the end because the replacement West Ham were looking at fell through.
“Craig’s wanted to come here for the last six months, so it’s something we’ve kept warm and kept in touch on.
“His family are in the north of England, so for him it’s great to get closer to them.
“He’s a player we’ve wanted for a while, so it was great to get it done, even if it’s six months later than we wanted, but it’s good to get here now.”
Craig Dawson can become a Wolves leader after move
Hobbs then added: “In my first interview, I talked about players who know the league are important.
“Personalities are important. We lost a few leaders in the summer with John [Ruddy], Conor [Coady] and Romain [Saiss].
“We’re bringing another leader into the group, which is always a positive, but if you look at our centre-backs, they’re all relatively young, not just in age, but also the number of games they’ve played in English league football, let alone the Premier League.
“The amount of games Craig has played, he can be a foil for those guys on and off the pitch.
“He’s going to be a very good player for our squad and will be someone our young centre-halves will learn a lot from and will help develop those players.”
Dawson’s aim will be to help Wolves survive in the Premier League this season. Lopetegui’s side are currently 17th and face a daunting trip to Manchester City on Sunday.
Dawson has not been registered in time to play in the game. However, he could debut against Liverpool on Saturday 4 February.
West Ham considering Man Utd star as replacement
The exit of Dawson at West Ham leaves the Hammers one man down in defence. As a result, Moyes will now decide whether to make a move in the final week of the window to replace the experienced defender.
With Kurt Zouma, Thilo Kehrer and Nayef Aguerd all fit and available, there is one school of thought that says Moyes is well covered.
However, reports suggest he could look to fill the void by trying again to sign Harry Maguire from Manchester United.
The England defender has been sidelined this season after falling down the pecking order under Erik ten Hag. And while the United boss seems reluctant to let him leave, the fact that left-back Luke Shaw plays ahead of him at centre-half is an extremely worrying sign.
And should United allow him to leave, West Ham are ready to present themselves as a viable option.
They have already reportedly made an enquiry to United in an effort to sign Maguire on loan.
However, a sizeable cash bid may yet persuade Ten Hag to sell.
The Irons are now reportedly weighing up whether to move for the England defender as they consider the sizeable costs, including wages, involved.
Maguire may also welcome a change of scene after becoming humiliated under Ten Hag and with the situation now described as ’embarrassing’.