The Rumour: Arsenal have again been linked with West Ham United defender Winston Reid in the wake of their 2-1 win over the Hammers yesterday afternoon, a game in which the New Zealander gave away a penalty.
Santi Cazorla slithered his way past the 26-year-old only to be brought down by Reid’s sneaky attempt to put in a last ditch leg after falling to the ground himself – in what was an unfortunate situation for the West Ham defender.
Arsenal went on to win the tie doubling their lead and holding on despite late persistent aerial attacks. Reid had a solid outing putting in some well time tackles on Gunners star Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and with his contract set to expire in the summer the rumour mill is in full swing.
Reid has so far refused a new deal leading to suggestions he is eyeing a step up to a bigger club, the fact that Alex Song was handed the armband over Reid who usually deputizes in place of absent the club and vice captains Nolan and Noble perhaps suggests the Hammers are planning for life without their best central defender this winter.
According to the Express, the Kiwi international is available for a cut-price £4m.
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Winston announced himself on the world stage with a fantastic 2010 World Cup campaign with New Zealand when the then right-back scored an equalizer for the All Whites against Slovakia. He earned his country their first point in a World Cup finals match.
Reid continued making an impression and helped New Zealand end the tournament as the only unbeaten side in the competition with three draws. Consequently he earned a move to West Ham United in the summer of 2010 from Danish outfit Midtjylland.
Often played as right-back early on in his international and club career, his height and physicality helped to mould him into a promising centre back. A position he’s made his own and has been growing in consistency over the years. Reid is very strong in the air, in the tackle and has versatility in his locker as he’s able to slip into the right of the defence. The central defender earned the ‘Hammer of the Year’ gong in 2013 for his outstanding performances in the 2012/13 season.
So far this campaign in 18 appearances, Reid has a 80% pass completion average compared to 89% for both Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. He has one goal to his name similarly to Koscielny, but has had nine attempts on goal which is equal to Mertesacker in as many appearances.
Reid has won 20 tackles this campaign, far superior to Mertesacker with nine, however the German edges him out with 40 interceptions to 31. Impressively the New Zealand captain has won 65% of his aerial duels, roughly on par with Mertesacker’s 66%.
Should we Buy?
Being part Kiwi myself, seeing the national team hero join the Gunners is an exciting prospect. It would be a huge move for him and he could become the first New Zealander to ever play Champions League football.
Reid is in his prime and has proven to be a capable Premier League regular. He is someone who would be able to slot straight in when necessary and is a potential successor for Mertesacker who is into his 30’s.
The only worry is he is not necessarily ‘world class’. Not the cream of the crop, but with the defensive department badly needing some reinforcements a cut-price deal for Reid is not a bad option at all. He could be willing to be a third choice centre back unlike some such as Mats Hummels who not only would command a huge transfer fee and is unlikely to want to leave this winter, but is someone who will almost certainly break the ‘Mertscielny’ partnership. Nothing like competition though.
This is perhaps the most realistic option however and is far more preferable than the Squillaci-esk rumour of St Etienne captain Loic Perrin.
Rumour Rater: 3/5
1 – Never going to happen
2 – Unlikely
3 – Could be possible
4 – Likely
5 – Done deal
Should we sign him? Share your thoughts in the comments below.