West Ham United are keeping tabs on 24-year-old Metz defender Koffi Kouao

According to Foot Mercato, Premier League side West Ham United are interested in securing the services of Metz star Koffi Kouao.

The 24-year-old came through the ranks at ASEC Mimosas and Vizela before going on to make his senior bow for the latter in 2017. He moved to Metz in 2022 and has since made 15 appearances for the Ligue 1 side.

Kouao is primarily a right-back but can play further forward or also on the other flank if required. An excellent tackler who can also get forward when needed, the Ivory Coast star can make a telling impact at both ends on the pitch.

As things stand, the Hammers have just two specialist right-backs on the roster. Ben Johnson is still learning his trade, while Vladimir Coufal is now 30 and entering the nascent stages of his career. With the latter in particular struggling this season, bringing in a player of Kouao’s talents is a welcome move.

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The Ivorian’s contract with the Garnets runs until 2026, and the Ligue 1 side have enough leeway to hold the advantage in negotiations. West Ham are desperate enough to strengthen their roster midway through the campaign, and it remains to be seen how far they are willing to go to get their man.

David Moyes’s side are struggling this season and finds themselves firmly entrenched in the relegation dogfight. Only goal difference is currently keeping them out of the bottom three and something needs to change soon.

A major reason for the Hammers’ struggle is their inability to score goals. In fact, only two other teams have scored fewer goals in the Premier League, both of who are in the relegation zone. The paucity of goals upfront makes it all the more important that the defence does its job. 

While Kouao is certainly an exciting talent, signing him would also be a gamble of sorts. The 24-year-old has largely spent his career in the French second tier and is only now experiencing top-level football. Stepping up to the Premier League, especially for a side craving defensive solidity might be too much to ask for off the bat.

As things stand, the Ivorian is among the names on West Ham’s shortlist. Whether the Hammers will drive home their interest in the weeks to come remains to be seen.

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