Given the success Newcastle have enjoyed in the transfer market over the past couple of seasons, it is perhaps surprising that very few Premier League clubs have followed their lead into the French top division, where fine players seem to regularly be available at a relatively low price.
This summer might see a chance, with a slew of players constantly being linked with a switch from Ligue 1 to the Premier League, and West Ham could be one of the teams involved.
They have been linked to Valenciennes’ 21-year-old defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, who has been an ever present in their side this season. Isimat-Mirin has been at Valenciennes since 2008, and is now reportedly keen to leave the club in the summer.
West Ham have relied on three centre backs throughout the season, and Isimat-Mirin would at least add some depth to the squad even if he did not immediately go into the first team. However he has plenty of talent, and the physicality of the French league means he would be comfortable in a Premier League side.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa made the switch from Ligue 1 in January, and has quickly settled into the Newcastle defence, and although he is a more experienced player than Isimat-Mirin they share some similar qualities that would suggest the Valenciennes player could fit in well in West Ham’s back line.
The French club are rumoured to be asking for around £5million for Isimat-Mirin, a valuation you would expect someone would be willing to meet this summer if the player made it clear he wanted to leave.
Sam Allardyce will be keen to reshape his squad for next season, and although West Ham largely avoided a relegation fight this season, he will be looking upwards next year, and adding Isimat-Mirin to their defence would be a fine first move in the transfer market this summer.
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