By Kevin Phillips

15th Mar, 2021 | 7:00am

West Ham won't bat an eyelid at reported fee for formidable Dawson - Phillips

Kevin Phillips insists West Ham won’t ‘bat an eyelid’ at the reported £2million fee they are set to spend to make Craig Dawson’s loan move permanent. 

The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has been blown away by how Dawson has performed on his return to the Premier League.

The 30-year-old joined the club in the summer on loan from Watford and The Athletic are now reporting that he is just a few starts away from turning that loan move into a permanent deal.

Including a £1million loan fee, this means the Hammers will be shelling out just £3million for one of their standout players this season.

Phillips claims the permanent signing of Dawson is a sensible move from West Ham and he tipped Dawson to be keen to stay at a club where ‘good things’ are happening.

“When he signed for West Ham I was a little bit surprised,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

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“I didn’t think he’d play an awful lot and he’d just be cover but he’s come in, taken his opportunities and shown his quality. 

“He’s a formidable centre half and he’s a leader. For £2million quid, you wouldn’t even bat an eyelid, you just do it. 

“He doesn’t look out of place, he doesn’t look like he’s slowed down. He’s an experienced player and it’s a sensible deal to get done. 

“I’m sure Daws would want to stay as well because good things are happening at West Ham at the moment and he’s part of that.”

West Ham are well in the hunt for a top-four finish this season and Dawson has certainly contributed to the club’s impressive campaign.

The defender hasn’t missed a minute of football since he started for the Hammers against Southampton at the end of December.

In other news, West Ham step up Jesse Lingard pursuit but face competition from two big-spending rivals.