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Could Lewis Dunk be the man to kick-start Moyes’ West Ham revolution?

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk

There has been speculation over recent days that newly installed West Ham United manager David Moyes is looking to bring in Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk as his first Hammers signing.

The Mirror ran with the story on Tuesday, but is it a move that makes sense for the East Londoners?

On the face of it, this is a no-brainer for Moyes, who will be looking to shore up a defence that has leaked 23 goals in the Premier League in just 11 matches, the worst record in the division.

The signing of 33-year-old Jose Fonte from Southampton in January has failed to pay dividends; the Portugal international has looked uncomfortable at the heart of the backline and is currently ruled out with an injury until the new year.

This is an ageing Irons rearguard, with James Collins (34), Winston Reid (29) and Angelo Obgonna (29) the other three senior options available at present.

Teenager Declan Rice has shown some promise but it is doubtful as to whether Moyes would want to rely on someone so young with the club in a relegation battle.

At 25, Dunk has a wealth of experience behind him but is on the cusp of entering his prime as a centre-half and could marshal the defence for the next seven or eight years.

The former Bristol City loanee is an imposing presence, standing at six feet and four inches, and as such is renowned for his ability to deal with aerial challenges.

However, he is also a tidy passer of the ball and his performances have led to calls for him to be included in the England setup.

With Dunk and Shane Duffy an established pairing at the back, Brighton sit eighth in the table and have conceded just 11 goals so far this term, an excellent record for a promoted side.

Whether they can sustain that form remains to be seen and a move to West Ham would still be regarded as a step up despite the Hammers current lowly position.

That said, there are a number of factors to consider with any potential transfer and Dunk’s is no different.

He was born and raised in Brighton and leaving his boyhood side would doubtless be a wrench, even if it meant advancing his own playing career.

With that comes the question of how he would fare away from such familiar surroundings; players who have spent so long at one club have been known to struggle once they depart and are faced with a different environment and new faces.

Ashley Williams is possibly the best example in recent memory; the Wales international was at Swansea City for eight years and was widely acclaimed as one of the Premier League’s top central defenders, constantly being linked with moves to larger sides.

When he eventually joined Everton in 2016, his performances dipped and he looked far from the authoritative figure that had for so long safeguarded the penalty area at the Liberty Stadium.

Like anyone, players get comfortable in their surroundings and once those surroundings change it can become difficult to replicate performances.

Dunk’s price tag may be another stumbling block for Moyes to overcome, particularly given that he put pen to paper on a new five-year deal at the Amex Stadium just a few months ago.

The Seagulls would likely be aiming to recoup at least £10-15 million for his services and the figure will only rise if he maintains his current levels.

Bidding in January may be unrealistic given that losing a player in the middle of the season can harm momentum, as well as giving teams less time to identify an adequate replacement.

Brighton would no doubt prefer to keep hold of their man until next summer, so if Moyes decides to pursue Dunk over the next few months he must be prepared to pay top dollar.

Overall though, he is a player who could well improve the West Ham defence and whilst the price to acquire him may be steep, the price of relegation is higher.

Moyes badly needs reinforcements at the back and if he feels that Dunk can be the difference between staying up and going down, he must to everything in his power to bring him to the London Stadium.

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