West Brom manager Slaven Bilic is ready to pounce on West Ham defender Jemery Ngakia as he heads for the London Stadium exit doors, according to a Hammers insider.
The ever-reliable ExWHUemployee has claimed on the West Ham Way podcast that Albion are hot on the heels of the 19-year-old after he refused to sign a new contract at the London club.
West Ham announced on Thursday that Ngakia will be leaving the club at the end of the month and with West Brom eyeing a new right-back due to Nathan Ferguson’s impending exit, Bilic has set his sights on the teenager.
“It’s believed that the latest club to be strongly interested in Ngakia is West Brom,” ExWHUemployee told The West Ham Way podcast.
“There’s a strong chance that they will be in the Premier League next season.
“Their right-back Nathan Ferguson is out of contract himself and has possibly agreed to join Crystal Palace. So Bilic has maybe said to him you will come in and you’ll be our right-back.”
Replace one young right-back who has only proven himself in the Championship for another young right-back who has impressed in the Premier League?
Ngakia is a good young right-back and it speaks volumes that West Ham fans are unhappy to see the teenager head for the exit.
Carlton Cole described him as “immense” back in February when he impressed against Liverpool and held his own against Sadio Mane [Sky Sports].
West Ham’s academy is one of the best in England and Bilic is bound to have a good reputation with the youngsters there.
Grady Diangana has impressed on loan at West Brom this season and maybe the England Under-21 international will put in a good word for the Baggies as they pursue the right-back.
Albion do have two right-backs in Darnell Furlong and Dara O’Shea but it would not hurt to add another youngster to the squad.
In other West Brom news, fans have said it’s “Berahino all over again” after this player update was announced.