Lopetegui plotting raid on former club in first act as West Ham manager

Julen Lopetegui’s first act as West Ham United manager could see him raid his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers for defensive reinforcement.

The Spaniard has officially been confirmed as the new manager following the departure of club legend David Moyes after a tumultuous campaign that ended with a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on the final day.

Despite the circumstances surrounding Moyes’ exit, the Scottish manager is still highly regarded by the club faithful.

While it’ll be farfetched to say Lopetegui has some big boots to fill, the Spaniard will undoubtedly come under pressure to build on Moyes’ success at the club.

Lopetegui will work hand in hand with technical director Tim Steidten to shuffle the squad this summer, and the Spaniard is looking to his former stomping ground for reinforcements.

The Sun reports that Wolves centre-half Max Kilman has emerged as a primary target for the Irons, which is a welcome development considering our defence is in dire need of an overhaul.

Kilman could be a shrewd acquisition for the Hammers

West Ham conceded 74 goals in the 2023/24 season, a record for goals conceded in a Premier League season.

Only the relegated clubs shipped in more goals than Moyes’ side, so it’s obvious that this is the position where we need to add more quality.

Moyes’ first-choice back four were plagued by injuries and inconsistent form throughout the campaign, so there needs to be a complete reset this summer.

Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd are facing uncertain futures at London Stadium, while Angelo Ogbonna and Ben Johnson will be allowed to leave this summer.

Kilman is now a potential option to reinforce the backline, although our interest in the 27-year-old precedes Lopetegui’s arrival at London Stadium.

The Englishman boasts plenty of Premier League experience and worked with Lopetegui at Wolves, so it makes sense to move for someone of his pedigree.

Kilman is a brilliant defender. He kept five clean sheets and netted twice during the season. He won 55% of his ground duels and is nearly unbeatable in the air, boasting a 71% success rate in aerial duels.

He also created four big chances, emphasising his tendency to influence proceedings at the top end of the pitch, and snapping him up would be a great piece of business from our point of view.

Stats from Sofascore.com