West Ham have made the signing of the Corinthians defender for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of €4 million. The Paraguayan centre back has played seven international games for his country and travelled with the squad to the 2015 Copa America.
For Corinthians he played 69 Brazilian Série A matches, scoring four goals from defence. Before his move to the Brazilian club in 2016, Balbuena played his football in his home town country of Paraguay, racking up 166 appearances across the four teams he featured for.
Director of Football Mario Husillos has said:
“We welcome Fabian to West Ham United. He is somebody we have monitored for a long time and we are very pleased to have taken the opportunity to sign him. He is a player of great strength, character and personality. We believe he will improve our squad and our defensive qualities.”
Fantasy Premier League Potential (4.5m)
Balbuena has been priced at £4.5m making him the same as fellow West Ham centre half Issa Diop. The fees for the two men are completely different, Diop costing £22 million. This alone suggests Diop has a significantly better chance to play so Balbuena’s FPL potential doesn’t look too great.
However, if he does get a decent run of games in the team, he could prove to be a hidden gem. Across his career he has averaged around two goals a season which is okay for a defender, and being 6ft 2, he should be dominant in both boxes for the Hammers.
West Ham’s first five fixtures are as follows: Liverpool (A), Bournemouth (H), Arsenal (A), Wolves (H) and Everton (A). Their games at the London Stadium will be crucial for Manuel Pellegrini’s side as the away games will be difficult to pick up many points. If Balbuena does play and you select him, then he will surely need to be rotated in and out of your team with these awkward matches ahead.
Written by Harry Clark (@HarryClark67)