Survival can be considered the only positive point of West Ham’s 2017/18 Premier League campaign. With the team in the relegation zone, Slaven Bilic saw his two-year spell in charge of the club come to an end in November, with David Moyes taking over as manager on a short-term deal.
After leading the club to Premier League safety, many believed Moyes would be the man to lead West Ham into the new season. The club’s controversial board disagreed. Former Premier League winning manager Manuel Pellegrini has been given the job on a three-year deal, becoming the club’s highest ever paid manager. The Chilean has promised fans attacking football, and with a reported £75 million war chest available to him, is after four or five new players.
Out of contract Fulham right-back Ryan Fredericks has agreed to join the club on a four-year deal after rejecting a new contract from the Premier League new boys. Both Patrice Evra and James Collins will be released, with the latter being told via email that he was leaving the club despite eleven years of service. West Ham will also not be attempting to make Joe Hart’s loan move permanent, despite Manchester City wanting less than £5 million for the goalkeeper. Fellow loanee Joao Mario has returned to Inter.
Attacking football has been promised, and attacking reinforcements look set to join the club this summer. The club’s representatives are in talks to bring PSG midfielder Javier Pastore to the club for £20 million. The Argentine would provide some much-needed help for compatriot Manuel Lanzini.
Lazio wide man Felipe Anderson could prove to be a huge coup for the Hammers, signing for a reported £36 million. Earlier in the window Pellegrini declared interested in two out of contract Premier League midfielders: Jack Wilshere and Yaya Toure. Both are determined to stay in the Premier League, and the lure of first-team football at West Ham may be too good an opportunity to turn down. The lure was enough for Wilshere, who could be fantastic if injuries don’t disrupt his season as they have so many times before.
Last summer’s key transfer target William Carvalho is also finally being allowed to leave Sporting Lisbon, but it appears the Hammers will face competition from Everton for his signature. With Adrian now the only senior goalkeeper at the club, a move for Burnley captain Tom Heaton may be best for all involved, especially since the emergence of Nick Pope. Willy Caballero, a goalkeeper Pellegrini’s coached at both Malaga and Manchester City, has also been linked to the club.
Hammer of the Year Marko Arnautovic is subject of interest from Manchester United. After signing for £25 million last summer, the club are unwilling to sell the Austrian and are likely to demand a fee in excess of £50 million. Fredericks arrival will see Sam Byram’s time at the club come to an end, with the player set to move on this summer. It is perhaps unsurprising that Robert Snodgrass looks set to leave the club. Javier Hernandez has said he will wait until after the World Cup before deciding on his future following a disappointing return to the Premier League.
Written by Dan Blank.