West Ham United have identified Shakhtar Donetsk’s Ukrainian defender Mykola Matviyenko as an option to strengthen their defensive unit this summer.
According to a report from 90min.com, West Ham United are eyeing a move for Shakhtar Donestk’s defensive mainstay Mykola Matviyenko as David Moyes seeks to bolster his options at the back in the current transfer window.
A product of the Shakhtar Donetsk youth academy, Matviyenko has spent his entire career with the Ukrainian giants barring a couple of loan stints with Karpaty Lyiv and Vorskla Poltava very early in his career. The 25-year-old has established himself as a mainstay at the heart of the defence for the club, racking 110 appearances to date, in which he has five goals and six assists.
Matviyenko is also an ever-present for the Ukrainian national team, having featured 41 times so far for his country. In fact, the central defender played every minute of each game for Andriy Shevchenko’s side as they made it as far as the quarter-finals of the UEFA Euro 2020 earlier this summer.
Impressed by his exploits for club and country, West Ham United are intent on signing Matviyenko. The Hammers, as per the report, have been monitoring the defender since last year when he was also courting interest from the likes of Arsenal and Everton, among others, and they may now be ready to make a move for him this summer.
Such an action would make a great deal of sense for David Moyes & co. as well, considering the defensive options available currently. Following the exit of Fabian Balbuena and the return of Winston Reid from his loan spell, West Ham have four senior centre-backs in Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna, Craig Dawson along with Reid.
However, of the four, three are well into their thirties while Ogbonna picked up an injury in a preseason encounter earlier this month. And even though he is likely to make a swift return, Moyes and the Hammers would be better off safeguarding themselves against such situations by adding another central defender, who could also reduce the average age of their backline.
To that end, a move for Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby has been mooted while it has also been reported that the east London giants are readying an offer for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma. Amidst this, Matviyenko has also emerged as a transfer target and could be an option worth considering.
At 25, the Ukrainian defender still has his best years well ahead of him, while his title-winning experience and the know-how of European football with Shakhtar Donetsk outfit would come in handy for West Ham as they look to make progress in the UEFA Europa League this season. However, given that he is contracted with his boyhood club till 2025, Matviyenko could end up costing big bucks.