Irons Renew Interest in Towering Defender

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West Ham United are revisiting their interest in Le Havre’s young central defender Etienne Kinkoue, according to reports in France. The Hammers narrowly missed out on signing the 22-year-old French youth international in January after their £4.5 million offer fell short.

With a pressing need for reinforcements in central defence, West Ham’s technical director, Tim Steidten, has identified Kinkoue as a potential solution. Le Havre’s anticipated player sales have placed Kinkoue at the forefront of their minds, with the French club needing to balance the books.

The towering 6ft 5in defender possesses an exceptional ability to read the game, allowing him to make crucial interceptions. He poses a significant aerial threat, especially from set pieces, due to his imposing stature. Despite his size, Kinkoue is a composed defender who avoids reckless challenges and excels at clearing the ball effectively.

While West Ham are confident in their ability to lure Kinkoue to the London Stadium, Nottingham Forest also hold an interest. The added complication of Forest’s owner, Evangelos Marinakis, having previously owned Kinkoue’s former club Olympiacos, adds another layer of intrigue. An unnamed German club is also reportedly in the mix for the highly-rated defender.

Kinkoue appears to be a perfect fit for West Ham’s revamped recruitment strategy under Steidten and manager Julen Lopetegui. Their focus is on acquiring young, athletic, and powerful players at reasonable prices before they attract the attention of bigger clubs, mirroring the Red Bull model. Kinkoue’s versatility, offering defensive midfield cover, further enhances his appeal to Lopetegui.

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