West Ham have launched a £7million bid for Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge as they continue their search for another high-quality goalkeeping option, according to Football Insider.
David Moyes is in the market for another goalkeeper following Lukasz Fabianski’s latest injury blow over the weekend, and Etheridge has now emerged as a target as doubts grow over their swoop for Darren Randolph from Middlesbrough.
West Ham had looked to be on the verge of completing a deal to re-sign Randolph after agreeing a transfer fee with Boro, but the move has now been put in doubt as the London club await the results of Randolph’s medical, with the ‘keeper currently injured.
It now appears as though West Ham are lining up a move for Etheridge in case their move for Randolph falls through, with the London club having reportedly submitted a bid worth £6million plus £1million in add-ons for the Cardiff stopper.
Etheridge has made a total of 16 appearances for the Bluebirds in the Championship this term, but he was left out of the starting line-up against Swansea over the weekend amid growing doubts surrounding his future at the club.
Here are three things West Ham would be getting if they complete their move for Etheridge…
An excellent shot-stopper
Etheridge has proven throughout his time with Cardiff that his main strength is his shot-stopping ability, with the Philippines international having earned plaudits for producing some incredible point-blank saves in recent years.
The 29-year-old may not possess particularly strong abilities with regard to his distribution, but West Ham primarily need a goalkeeper who they can depend on to make saves in Fabianski’s absence, and Etheridge can certainly provide this.
He would represent a solid alternative to Fabianski between the sticks, and there can be no doubt that the Hammers would be much better off with Etheridge as a back-up goalkeeping option ahead of both David Martin and Roberto.
Premier League experience
Etheridge had boasted a solid Football League career before his Premier League campaign with Cardiff last campaign, and the fact he has experienced a full season in the top-flight will make him a particularly appealing option for the Hammers.
The 29-year-old knows what it takes to play in the top-flight every week, and while Cardiff may have been relegated during their top-flight campaign, Etheridge was perhaps the main stand-out performer from this difficult season.
This means Etheridge would not take much time to adapt to life at West Ham given he is accustomed to the demands of the Premier League, and he should be able to slot straight into the Hammers’ side if Fabianski is still unavailable.
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Scope for future progression
Etheridge boasts the perfect balance of being someone with experience while also being hungry for further success, and the goalkeeper’s age should be another reason for West Ham pressing ahead with this deal.
The fact he is only 29 means he still has many years left in him as a top-level goalkeeper, and there would even be scope for him eventually replacing the 34-year-old Fabianski as West Ham’s first-choice stopper in the coming years.
However, Etheridge will certainly not settle to playing second fiddle to Fabianski, with this meaning he is someone who is immediately capable of providing stern competition between the sticks for the East London outfit.