Championship defender with 73% aerial duels won is a must-have for West Ham this summer

West Ham United are not famous for their astute activity in the transfer market, but last summer was evidence that they’re capable of pulling off eye-catching deals.

With a massive summer rebuild on the horizon, the Hammers must once again prove they can be shrewd operators in the market, and the wheels are already in motion.

The Guardian reports that West Ham are plotting a move for Hull City centre-back Jacob Greaves, which is exactly the kind of smart, cut-price deal they should look out for this summer.

Greaves has been a standout performer for Hull this season and is arguably the best centre-back in the second tier.

The 23-year-old has been a colossal presence in the Hull backline and has been consistent throughout the season, playing a key role as the Tigers chase a play-off spot. 

Only Ipswich Town’s Leif Davis (7.42) and Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters (7.33) average a better Sofascore rating than Greaves (7.30) among Championship defenders thus far.

Greaves has played nearly every minute of Hull’s promotion-chasing campaign – missing just three games – and has managed 11 clean sheets in 42 appearances.

The Englishman is also a threat in the final third, notching two goals and four assists. But his attacking exploits are bettered by his defensive contributions.

Greaves is a force to be reckoned with, averaging 1.8 tackles, 4.3 ball recoveries, and 4.4 clearances per match, while he is only dribbled past 0.5 times per outing.

The highly rated centre-half has also won 63% of his ground battles, but it pales in comparison to his staggering 73% success rate in aerial duels.

It’s only a matter of time before Greaves earns a move to one of the top teams in the Premier League, and West Ham must ensure he ends up at London Stadium.

He is valued at €14 million by Transfermarkt, but Hull will require significantly more to part ways with the reliable centre-back.

Nevertheless, signing Greaves should be a no-brainer for West Ham, who could do with fresh legs in a rapidly ageing backline.

Stats from &