West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham to pounce for centre-back that Steven Gerrard described as ‘outstanding’

Joe Worrall Nottingham Forest bench January 2022

West Ham remain interested in Nottingham Forest central defender Joe Worrall – a player Steven Gerrard described as “outstanding” on his debut in the Europa League.

The 25-year-old defender has made 22 Championship appearances this season. He was linked with a move south to the Hammers in December with David Moyes understood to be a big admirer of the no-nonsense player.

Worrall is currently out injured having broken his ribs. He has missed the last two games, but The Athletic claim West Ham remain keen on the former Rangers man.

Moyes is on the lookout for defensive cover for Angelo Ogbonna and a move before Monday’s deadline is a possibility.

The deal could well be linked to Forest’s interest in West Ham under-23 left-back Emmanuel Longelo.

West Ham website Claret and Hugh report that Forest are said to want Longelo on a permanent deal. However, they will have to increase their offer for the left-back after their first approach was turned down.

The source are unclear whether the Longelo deal could tie into a move in the opposite direction for Worrall.

Attila Szalai interests West Ham and Newcastle United

Attila Szalai interests West Ham and Newcastle United

Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai is wanted by West Ham and Newcastle this January


One man who has been impressed with Nottingham-born Worrall previously is Gerrard.

Gerrard handed a debut to Worrall at Rangers in 2018-19. And although Villarreal scored after a minute, Worrall stood up and helped Rangers earn a brilliant 2-2 draw in September 2018.

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Worrall has eyes on Premier League

Gerrard said: “I put him right in the deep end. He was in a sink or swim situation.

“When a manager gives you your debut away in the Europa League, against a side of this level, it was a big ask for him to come in and perform. I thought he was outstanding.”

Worrall played 32 games on loan that season. And Gerrard has since been linked with a move to take the player to Aston Villa.

Meanwhile, in November it was revealed that Worrall was close to joining an unnamed Premier League club in the summer, most likely thought to be Southampton. And while that move broke down, the defender remains determined in his bid to become a Premier League player.

“I think it’s something that, if it doesn’t happen one day – touch wood it is with Forest – but if it isn’t, it’ll be with a club that show me a bit more love than the club that turned me down in the summer,” he said

READ MORE: Moyes gets serious as West Ham make improved €25m bid for eight-goal striker