By Alan Hutton

13th Jan, 2022 | 8:30pm

Pundit verdict on West Ham signing new defender after update on Zouma 'nightmare'

Alan Hutton has suggested West Ham could avoid have to splash out on a new centre-back with Kurt Zouma closing in on a return to fitness.

The former Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 27-year-old’s return lessens the urgency for defensive additions this month.

As quoted on Tuesday (11 January), Moyes revealed he hopes to have Zouma back “shortly” after his hamstring tendon injury.

The Scottish manager insisted the centre-back’s return “eases the pressure” in terms of needing to recruit a new defender.

However, he admitted the Irons are still seeking cover after Angelo Ogbonna’s season-ending injury.

Hutton suggested Zouma’s comeback could help Moyes save millions in the transfer market.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “That’s why they brought him in, to add to what they already had and make them better defensively.

“To lose him was obviously a nightmare. Ogbonna, Cresswell, they’ve had their own problems this season.

“It’ll be great news for David Moyes to know that he is on his way back. They might not have to go and get someone, which could save millions.

“Whether they still do that for more cover than anything, we’ll have to wait and see. That’s good news all round for David Moyes.”

As detailed by Football Insider injury expert Ben Dinnery (12 January), Zouma could return for the clash against Manchester United on January 23rd.

Craig Dawson and Issa Diop are West Ham’s only fit senior centre-backs at present.

The duo started in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Norwich City.

Zouma suffered his injury during the 3-2 win over Chelsea in early December.

In other news, Premier League rivals “hot” on signing West Ham star after transfer mission.