Alex McLeish has insisted it was a very clever move by West Ham United to bring in the experienced Craig Dawson on loan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League manager delivered his verdict after the 6ft 4in defender made his full debut for the Hammers this week.
Dawson played the full 90 minutes in West Ham’s 0-0 draw with high-fliers Southampton at St. Mary’s on Tuesday night.
The 30-year-old joined David Moyes’ side on a season-long loan deal in the summer transfer window after they were priced out of a move for Burnley’s James Tarkowski.
Asked by Football Insider whether Dawson’s man-of-the-match display on the south coast showed his value to West Ham, McLeish said:
“That’s the reason why they bring an experienced player in, rather than a possible young star of the future who’s not got all the answers in the Premier League.
“It’s really difficult, I can remember bringing in a player from Manchester City when I was Motherwell manager and he just fitted into the team like a glove. He was inspiring everybody around him because of his nouse and he knew his way around the defensive penalty box.
“That’s why the current teams, especially in the Premier League, would do that, go for an experienced guy ahead of throwing a youngster into the deep end.”
Dawson told the official West Ham website after the game that he is hopeful of keeping his place for their trip to Everton on Friday evening.
He said: “It’s been a long wait, but obviously the lads have done so well during that time. Hopefully, I can keep my place in the side and keep gaining points.”