West Ham are reportedly interested in signing Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo and his arrival could spell the end of cult hero Craig Dawson’s time at the London Stadium.
According to Claret and Hugh, the Hammers could look to acquire the centre-back after the World Cup break and could pay around £16m for the former Manchester City man, despite his contract at Craven Cottage being set to expire in June 2023.
Since joining the Cottagers from the Citizens in 2020, the 25-year-old has gone on to make 88 appearances in west London, contributing three goals and two assists.
He earned the move to Fulham after impressing with Championship side Blackburn Rovers on loan from Manchester City, with his centre-back partner Darragh Lenihan singing the defender’s praises in 2019.
He said: “He’s brilliant. His distribution is excellent, he’s quick, he’s big. I’ve said to him that he has all the attributes to play for Manchester City in my opinion.
“He’s here to learn, and help us out, but he’s a fantastic player.”
This season has seen him make ten appearances in the Premier League for Marco Silva’s side, in which he has averaged a solid, if unspectacular, 6.60 rating from WhoScored.
However, this still ranks him ahead of all of West Ham’s centre-back options bar Kurt Zouma, which emphasises what he could add to David Moyes’ side should he join in the January window.
Adarabioyo would join an already long list of centre-back options in Moyes’ side, especially with Angelo Ogbonna and Nayef Aguerd having returned from injury in recent weeks, which suggests that another defender could be moved on to accommodate the Fulham star.
That man seems very likely to be Dawson, given that he came extremely close to leaving the Hammers during the summer transfer window, as he seeks a move to a club closer to his home in the north of England.
The 32-year-old has become a fan favourite during his time with the Hammers, notably for his performances in the Europa League run last season, as he was named in the team of the tournament.
However, he has struggled after returning from injury this season, averaging a poor 6.47 rating for his displays in the Premier League, so perhaps it is time he was moved on and replaced by a better long-term option in Adarabioyo.