Nayef Aguerd at the Rush Green training ground

'He is a fantastic signing for West Ham' - French football expert Julien Laurens lauds Nayef Aguerd signing

West Ham United have made a fantastic addition in the form of Morocco centre-back Nayef Aguerd - that's the opinion of French football expert Julien Laurens.

Laurens, speaking on Sky Sports' Transfer Talk Podcast, hailed the arrival of Aguerd from Rennes as one that will boost the Hammers' quality in the defensive third - not only in the 26-year-old's ability to thwart the opposition, but also in his quality in possession.

Aguerd's development in the French top flight has been impressive, initially with Dijon, where he took his first steps in the European game, and then at Rennes, where he represented Les Rouge et Noir in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa Conference League in the previous two campaigns.

Now, as Aguerd aims to take the next step in his career by moving to the Premier League with the Hammers, Laurens, who covers the French game for Le Parisien, Sky Sports, BT Sport and ESPN among others, is sure he is well equipped to continue that upward trajectory.

“I think he is a great signing,” he confirmed. “First, because he is a left footer but he is not just a left foot – he has a really sweet left foot. He has that technical ability that is quite rare and then he is just tall and quick and reads the game well. 

“He is a very talented boy – a really good boy as well – very polite, feet on the ground. I could not speak more highly of him as he is a really fantastic signing for them.”


Nayef Aguerd in action for Rennes against Leicester
Nayef Aguerd took on Leicester City in last season's UEFA Europa Conference League Quarter-Finals


Another area where Laurens believes Aguerd is a perfect fit for the Hammers is his prowess from set plays, where he will join forces with the likes of Craig Dawson, Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna in striking fear into opposition players.

Ever since notching on his debut for Dijon in a Ligue 1 meeting with Nice in August 2018, the Moroccan has been a prolific threat in the attacking penalty area, scoring eleven goals in his time in France at a rate of better than one every ten games.

With West Ham's quality from dead balls already well known, Aguerd is sure to play his part in both boxes.

“He is also a threat on set pieces as he has scored goals this season offensively,” Laurens added.

“We know how good West Ham are at set pieces defensively so he will be another weapon in that armour – on top of all of the others they already have – whether he plays with Dawson or Zouma; whether they go to a three at the back; Ogbonna will also be back from injury.”


home kit