Albion’s latest transfer target is West Ham right-back Jeremy Ngakia, who is set to leave the Hammers on June 30 after failing to agree fresh terms on a new deal.
The rumours regarding the Baggies’ interest in the 19-year-old began circulating a week ago, but the speculation is being taken more seriously now after it was corroborated by ExWHUEmployee on the West Ham Way Podcast recently.
With Nathan Ferguson set to depart at the end of the month, Jeremy Ngakia appears to be the ideal replacement; and what may lure him to the Hawthorns instead of other interested clubs is Slaven Bilić – a manager he will know well.
Who is Jeremy Ngakia?
Born in Deptford, south London, Jeremy Ngakia’s first organised introduction to football was with Ballers Football Academy, and it was here, at aged fourteen, where he was scouted by West Ham United. He had a trial with Chelsea’s academy but opted instead for the Hammers.
Blessed with pace, power and excellent technique, Ngakia often played as a right-winger for the U18s, despite his natural position being at right-back. He styled his play on Michail Antonio and would often set off on marauding runs down the right flank, constantly on the offensive and piling pressure on the opposition.
Ngakia’s versatility was tested again when he was moved to the U23 squad, where he put in several shifts as a centre-back and reportedly excelled in the role.
Jeremy would make his debut for West Ham against Liverpool in January 2020 and went on to feature in five Premier League games in total before his contract expired at the end of June 2020. He was offered a choice of a new three-year deal or a one-year extension with West Ham but declined both, apparently keen on finding a club where he would be given more first-team football.
With the Baggies closing in on promotion to the Premier League and having a gap at right-back following the departure of Nathan Ferguson, Jeremy Ngakia might have just found the perfect next destination.
The compensation fee Albion will receive for Ferguson would neatly cover the compensation fee West Ham would be after for Ngakia. If it can be pulled off, this transfer would be a superb bit of business.