Scout Report: Joe Hart

Rumours have been circling for some weeks now around a proposed move to West Ham for England number one Joe Hart. Hart was shunned by Pep Guardiola last season and was shipped off to Turin with Serie A side Torino. Now back in England it is uncertain where his future will lie but one thing to note is, if he wants to stay at City he will likely play back up to new £30+ million signing Ederson.

So where will Hart end up? Well the Hammers would fit the bill perfectly. With Adrian and Randolph both having uncertain times in goal last season Hart would be an instant improvement. His experience and ability would improve the defensive frailties seen for much of last year. According to other reports there is interest from Manchester United who would look to replace David De Gea should he make a summer switch to Madrid. United are able to offer Hart a place in their Champions League squad, however will he be willing to move across the city to play for their rivals? Torino have ruled out an extension to Hart’s stint in Italy and will not apply for his services once more, while Liverpool and Everton’s interest seems to have cooled.

What can Hammers fans expect from the England stopper? He conceded 59 goals in 35 Serie A appearances this season at an average of 1.69 per game. West Ham’s ‘keepers had an almost identical rate of 64 conceded in the 38 Premier League games. Torino finished 9th in the table and in total conceded 66 goals. Only Cagliari (11th), and relegated sides Palermo (19th) and Pescara (20th) let more in. Of Hart’s 35 games in the Torino goal he kept only 5 clean sheets. He did make almost 2.5 saves per game however, showing that the frailties in the back line didn’t only fall at his feet. Adrian made more than 3 saves per game but many of his appearances came at the start of the season when West Ham were defensively poor. Randolph, like Hart made on average 2.5 saves per game.

Given the almost identical stopping stats, what do West Ham stand to gain from the deal? One thing which was outlined when he originally left Man City was his apparent lack of distribution however this season 73% of his attempts were successful. Compare this to his replacement, Claudio Bravos rate of 75% and it is difficult to see a difference. Compare Hart’s figures to the rate of 55% and 56% achieved by Adrian and Randolph last season and you can quickly see where the improvement can be made.

It is still unclear where Hart’s future lies. Of the sides which are linked with him at the moment West Ham seem the best fit. It wouldn’t make sense for Manchester City to strengthen one of their major rivals for the top four next season in United. To add a stronger final defence to a club with the ability to take points away from sides higher up the league however would be better.

About the Author

Michael Pearson
Michael is a keen writer who has a love for football.