West Ham could make a shrewd transfer move by signing Reece Oxford's teammate
While the former Hammer hasn't played much for Augsburg, his teammate Phillip Max has and he could be a shrewd move for West Hamby Sam Inkersole
Augsburg’s stunning 3-0 win over Schalke in the Bundesliga at the weekend came as a bit of a surprise, what with the winners of the game in a relegation battle.
Schalke, now managed by former Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner, capitulated at the hands of the visitors, who scored three unanswered and swept past Die Königsblauen to move up to 12th in the standings and condemn Schalke to another game without a win, which has stretched to nine.
Augsburg aren’t the flashiest or most well-known team in the Bundesliga but they do have a player in their ranks West Ham boss David Moyes should be keeping tabs on: left back Phillip Max.
The 26-year-old enjoyed another excellent game for Augsburg in their victory as he continues to add to his reputation. It’s not burgeoning by any stretch, he’s not linked with money-spinning moves to the football elite, but those who watch the Bundesliga regularly know how good he is.
Left back is a bit of an issue for the Hammers heading into next season, assuming they stay in the Premier League of course. Aaron Cresswell is 30 and Arthur Masuaku can’t be trusted, especially defensively.
Moyes has ditched the five at the back this season that was so successful in his last stint because he doesn’t have the players this time to make it effective as Masuaku has regressed badly.
Max at the age of the 26, fits the kind of player Moyes is looking for. While Max might not be a young and hungry 23-year-old like Jarrod Bowen, he is a player who has bounced back to work his way up the leagues and will no doubt want a crack at the big time in the Premier League.
Max started out as a striker as a youngster and continued up top when he moved to Schalke from Bayern Munich's academy in 2010 but he only featured twice for the Royal Blues before dropping down a division to join Karlsruher - and made a positional move too.
After 26 outings as a defender, Augsburg came sniffing and signed him up after Chelsea purchased Baba Rahman from the Germans and Max has held down the position ever since, playing at least 25 times in each of the following seasons. In 2017/18, he became the first defender to record 12 or more assists in a Bundesliga campaign, that was more than James Rodriguez, Thorgan Hazard and Leon Bailey that season.
West Ham during the break
In 2019/20, Max has scored seven goals and assisted five, which is a remarkable record for a left back in any league. He is a willing runner covering the grass, isn’t shy from taking a set piece, has a wand of a left foot and likes a crack from distance as well.
West Ham have decisions at their full back positions to make. Jeremy Ngakia’s rejection of a new contract has been taken badly, Pablo Zablaeta will be leaving at the end of the season, Ryan Fredericks is inconsistent and we have discussed the two left backs already.
Ben Johnson is highly rated and waiting in the wings but is unproven at Premier League level outwside of his full debut against Man City a season ago, though he can play on both flanks.
If West Ham do remain in the Premier League and money is expected to be tight this summer, Max could be a good, and cost-effective, recruit for Moyes.