West Ham United have announced the signing of defender Thilo Kehrer from PSG for a reported fee of £10m plus performance related add ons. The German International becomes the Hammers' sixth signing of the summer after Nayef Aguerd, Flynn Downes, Alphonse Areola, Gianluca Scamacca and Maxwel Cornet.
The versatile defender can play centre-back, right-back, left-back and even in a defensive midfield role. This flexibility will be key for West Ham due to the current injury crisis with central defenders at the club; Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna, and Nayef Aguerd are all currently injured. There are also worries about the long-term fitness of Kurt Zouma. Vladimir Coufal hasn't been in great form to start the season, so he could step in for him at RB or even Aaron Cresswell at LB in some fixtures
Kehrer has played the most minutes for the German national team since Flick took over the role from Joachim Low in August 2021. Germany manager Hansi Flick said: "It's important to have players who can play in several positions. He surprised me, and he has won a lot of plus points from me in the way he goes about things." He failed to stand out in Paris after his 40 million Euro move from Schalke four years ago, although he has made 128 appearances for the Parisians which shows he's a very decent player at least.
As a centre-back, where he will play the majority of his games for West Ham. Kehrer is a very aggressive defender. This can sometimes be a bad thing as he likes running up the pitch chasing his man leaving space behind, but his pace and defensive awareness help him cover for this.
This could be a bit of a problem playing next to Zouma who does the same thing, however, Kehrer is comfortable with his weak left foot meaning he will move to the left side of the defence, allowing Zouma to shift to his more comfortable right side. Kehrer's passing is probably the most impressive part of his game, the defender has completed 95% of his passes over the past 365 days. This is in the top 1% of defenders in European football and higher than PSG teammates Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos.
When fit, Aguerd will be the perfect partner for Kehrer with his pace and recovery tackles being the most effective part of his game. Both are also very quick, and brilliant passers. The Hammers should have a solid defensive partnership for years to come for just a combined £40m. The club are also looking to bring in Chelsea left-back Emerson and Arsenal midfielder/full-back Ainsley Maitland- Niles to bolster their defensive options further.