This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Ham United are reportedly lining up a move for Derby County youngster Lee Buchanan, as exclusively revealed here at Football League World.
Buchanan has made 33 appearances in all competitions for the Rams this season, and has seemingly caught the eye with some strong performances.
The defender made his senior debut for the club back in 2019, but has since become a regular in the matchday squad this season under the management of Wayne Rooney.
It’s been a frustrating league campaign for Derby County to endure though, with Rooney’s side currently sat 18th in the Championship table, with just six matches remaining in this year’s campaign.
A move to West Ham could tempt Buchanan as well, with the Hammers currently sat fourth in the Premier League table, and in contention to be playing European football next term.
But would Buchanan be a good signing for West Ham United ahead of the summer transfer window?
I think this could be a smart piece of business for West Ham.
Buchanan is certainly a promising young player, who has already shown he has the potential to play at a high level, and also has time his career to improve even further.
However, given the Hammers do currently have two strong options at left-back in Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku, who both have plenty of time remaining on their contracts at the London Stadium, you do feel as though Buchanan is a player who would be being signed with the future in mind, rather than next season.
That being said, it could still be worth West Ham making a move to sign him sooner rather than later, before another Premier League club makes an effort to beat them to it, which would make it harder for them to secure his services in the future.
It’s no surprise that Lee Buchanan is attracting interest from the Premier League.
The 20-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in the Championship and it’s only a matter of time until he’s playing at the highest level. However I don’t think that time is now.
Buchanan is good but it probably a year or two from being Premier League ready as West Ham will surely be able to find a player who is closer to being the finished article.
Perhaps if the full-back has a good season next term then he could move, but for now I think he should stay with Derby.
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Lee Buchanan has managed to produce some impressive performances this season in what has been his real breakthrough campaign at Derby. He is clearly a player with a lot of potential that could be developed over the next few years.
He has stepped into the side to replace the influential Max Lowe who left last summer for the Premier League, and you have to say that he has shown maturity to his game at times but also has been guilty of making the odd mistake which is understandable at his age.
West Ham have been recruiting well from the Championship, so if they have identified the defender as another potentially positive signing for them then it would be hard to suggest it would not be a good addition to their squad.
However, whether he is ready to be a Premier League player remains to be seen, personally, I would say he might need another year or two in the Championship before he could be a regular in a side like West Ham. For the long-term though it would be a good addition for the Hammers.