Every week we’ll be asking West Ham fans on Twitter and Facebook for questions that will be answered by our editor, James Wood. You can join in by liking West Ham Zone on Facebook or following James on Twitter, and watching out for weekly mailbag posts.

Aaron Cresswell, Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna have all been integral to the success of West Ham this season as we continue to push up the table.

The defenders have been nothing short of world-class. Cresswell has arguably been the best left-back in the entire league, while Ogbonna has manged to get himself back in the Italian national side.

Even Craig Dawson, who joined on loan and didn’t play until late December, has had a lot of success in the side. The issue is, all three of these players are the wrong side of 30. As it stands, Issa Diop is the only centre half we have under the age of 25.

We asked for your burning questions about the Hammers this week for West Ham Zone editor James Wood to answer. One fan wanted to know if we are looking to bring in some other defenders this summer.

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West Ham are bound to want to strengthen in a number of areas this summer. There’s been plenty made about our reported hunt for a new forward, and the possibility of us getting a new keeper. The position getting the least coverage is centreback, but rest assured, there are plans being forged.

One name that will no doubt be linked again is James Tarkowski. Last summer we were priced out of a move by Burnley – they wanted in excess of £50million. According to Eurosport, we are likely to go back in for his signature.

He has just 18 months left on his current contract, and talkSPORT says that we, along with Leicester, are two of seven clubs after him. The 28-year-old won’t be short of potential suitors come the summer, but we’ll be right in the thick of it, especially if we qualify for Europe. In hindsight, he may not be the best option due to his age.

West Ham

Another player linked with a move is Harry Soutar of Stoke City. The Express reported our interest a week ago, claiming Crystal Palace and Wolves are also looking at him. This would be an interesting deal for the Hammers. Souttar is 22-years-old and a full international with Australia. 

The 6ft 6ins tall centre back is having an excellent season for Stoke. In his 32 league matches, the Potters have kept 14 clean sheets. He’s a player with bags of potential but probably won’t come cheaply. Although no price is being quoted, it isn’t likely that Stoke will part with their prized asset easily. At such a young age, he could be a fantastic investment for the club.

There’s also one defensive alternative, and he’s already with the club. Frederik Alves joined in December from Danish side Silkeborg. The 21-year-old has been involved in the Premier League matchday squad six times since joining but is yet to make his first-team debut. 

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Speaking to the club website in December, David Moyes claimed Alves will be one for the future. He said: “He’s a young boy from Denmark we’ve had our eye on.

“He’s somebody with potential. He’s probably not for just now, but he’s a young player with a bit of potential who’ll hopefully come good in the future.”

In other West Ham news, was John Hartson a one-season wonder, or is he a cult hero?

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