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Planning for the future: Five right backs West Ham should pursue

These future stars could make their mark in London come January

Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images


Age: 21

Height: 5′ 11″

Weight: 154 lbs

Current team: AFC Ajax (#2 / RB)

Currently behind Joël Veltman (who is a Dutch national staple at RB), Tete is a 21 year old phenom with tons of upside. The rare spot start has displayed Tete’s talents and he has been coveted by a few top flight clubs over the years. Ajax is one of the best football factories in the world at producing world class talent so there is plenty to be excited about. Currently his contract is set to run out at the start of 2018, so if Ajax is indeed putting all of their stock into the 24 year old Veltman, they should be open to the possibility of moving Tete. He’s big, he’s strong, and has no problem running the ball with skill down the wing.


Age: 21

Height: 6′ 4″

Weight: 172 lbs

Current team: Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. (#18 / RB)

France v England - U21 International Friendly Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Fun fact – almost every career mode I start in FIFA or in Football Manager features Dominic Iorfa. How does that translate to the 21 year old being a potential target for West Ham? It doesn’t, I just really like him. Much like Tete, size and speed are a factor here. The one thing that Iorfa has over Tete, however, is his experience in the Championship. Known for its gritty competition, the English Championship has helped shape some of the best players in the world. I’m not suggesting Dominic Iorfa could be world class, only that he has proven his worth and is absolutely ready for the next level. Iorfa has been featured on the U21 English squad and could be Kyle Walker’s replacement in a few years. At 6’4”, the giant right back will end up on a Premier League squad. The only question is which one.


Age: 22

Height: 6′ 2″

Weight: 187 lbs

Current teams: Borussia Dortmund (#28 - CB/RB)

Borussia Dortmund v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Bongarts/Getty Images

Admittedly, this one is a bit of a stretch as the injury-riddled Borussia Dortmund cannot afford to lose Ginter, even if he’s not in their future plans. Out of necessity Matthias is playing as a 3rd back, filling in for the often injured Sokratis. Thomas Tuchel has been rotating between Sven Bender, Marc Bartra, and Ginter, while at times playing all three on the back line. However, Matthias is deep in the rotation and if he fails to earn Tuchel’s trust for the remainder of the year he could on the move come the summer. Reportedly, West Ham did offer 10 million for the midfielder turned defenseman back in June. Dortmund refused the offer and in retrospect that decision has paid off. Numerous top flight clubs from both Germany and England have inquired as to the status of Matthias. For now, it looks as if he’ll probably stay put, until the summer anyway.


Age: 24

Height: 5′ 9″

Weight: 154 lbs

Current team: SD Eibar (#7 - CB/RB/RM)

FC Barcelona v SD Eibar - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ander Capa Rodríguez is one of two wildcard picks I’m making. There are currently no links to West Ham United but I’m a fan of his work rate and skill. A good comparison might be Kyle Walker. When he’s not playing RB, he’s a pacey winger crossing in opportunities. My only reservation is, like Antonio, he was only recently converted to right back a year ago. Capa is still learning on the defensive end of the ball but he’s been showing some real promise. At 24, he’s just about to hit his prime and could step into the Hammer first team today.


Age: 22

Height: 6′ 1″

Weight: 168 lbs

Current team: Atalanta B.C. (#24 - RB)

My second wildcard pick! This kid is in high demand from some of the biggest clubs in Italy; Juventus, Roma, Inter, and Napoli. Atalanta is open to offers and has set a €15 million evaluation on the former under 21 Italian national player. So why West Ham United? Until the Simone Zaza fiasco, the Hammers have always had nice ties to the clubs of Serie A. It might also do Angelo Ogbonna some good to have a fellow countryman on his right side. Atalanta is in 6th place behind AC Milan and the moment and only a few points out of a Champions League spot. They are to be considered buyers this January so a move out for Andrea Conti is highly unlikely. However, conditions could arise in the summer, if they fail to secure a European tour in the second half of the year, where Atalanta would be willing to part with the young star for the right price.