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…
Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate cannot help but be encouraged by a second win in their last three outings at the weekend, that leaves Boro in 19th spot in the Championship heading into the busy Xmas period.
Woodgate may be concerned though by a report on 90min.com, that suggests West Ham have entered talks to sign their talented goalkeeper Darren Randolph, a player who was on the Hammers’ books between 2015 and 2017.
So would Randolph be a good addition at West Ham?
“While West Ham are struggling in the goalkeeper department, I’m not convinced that this would be the best signing for them in January.
“They are currently operating with third-choice ‘keeper David Martin and he is putting in performances that wouldn’t warrant replacement, considering Randolph would come in as a backup too.
“Having been top drawer last season for Middlesbrough in a solid defence, the same cannot be said this season as the defence has significantly weakened.
“West Ham have deeper troubles than just the goalkeeping department, so re-signing Randolph would not magically solve their troubles this season, despite being an accomplished goalkeeper.”
“Randolph possesses both the quality and experience to make this a successful move, but it is a grim reflection of West Ham’s recruitment strategy to be re-signing a player they allowed to leave in 2017.
“The 32-year-old has excelled with Boro since his departure from West Ham, and he would now be able to provide a strong back-up presence for Lukasz Fabianski in place of the underwhelming Roberto.
“Fabianski’s recent injury has proven that the Hammers are lacking appropriate back-up options at the club, and Randolph would be the perfect player to give the club this element of security between the sticks.
“Boro may also be interested in selling the player in order to raise funds for more player additions in January, even though they will find it difficult to replace a player who has been so important for them in recent times.”
Would Darren Randolph be a good addition at West Ham?
“It would certainly be an interesting one, particularly with Randolph having previously been at West Ham, he may not be too keen on a return to play second fiddle at the London Stadium again.
“He is a good solid goalkeeper at both Championship and Premier League level and would certainly strengthen what has been a problem position for the club this term, with Roberto and Fabianski both suffering bad form and fitness issues respectively.
“The signing of Randolph would however have a bad effect on young goalkeeper Nathan Trott who is currently on loan at AFC Wimbledon, as it would greatly affect his chances of breaking into the first team squad upon his return.
“Ultimately it will be down to Pellegrini as to whether the goalkeeping position needs strengthening, however for the time being it doesn’t look like a signing that is likely to come to fruition, with David Martin having been given a chance between the sticks in recent games for the east London club.”