By Kevin Phillips

7th Aug, 2020 | 7:00am

'Big coup' - Exclusive: Kevin Phillips reacts as Sky claim player to quit West Ham for PL rivals

Kevin Phillips has applauded Jeremy Ngakia for his decision to leave West Ham as the defender nears a move to Watford.

The former Sunderland and West Brom striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed it would be a “big coup” for the Hornets if they were able to get the deal over the line.

The 19-year-old is a free agent after his contract at the London Stadium expired last month and Sky Sports claim that Watford are close to securing his signature.

Football Insider revealed in June that the right-back had knocked back the club’s offer of a lucrative long-term deal and is even refused a short-term extension to complete the season.

Ngakia made five Premier League appearances in his breakthrough season including an impressive display against Sadio Mane at Anfield in January.

When asked by Football Insider if the teenager was making a mistake swapping Premier League West Ham for Championship Watford, Phillips said:

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“Ryan Fredericks played a lot of games last year. He maybe got fed up with being a fringe player, even though I know he played a few games last season.

“Ngakia deserves credit because while he is dropping down a league he will play football week in, week out. That will develop him and he might become a better player. Credit to him that he wants to go down a league, play football and try and get Watford back.

“It is a big coup for Watford but a loss for West Ham. They have got to look at that area now and get cover in.”

In other West Ham news, Frank McAvennie has told Football Insider that his former club should make a move for £18million striker after big BBC transfer update.