The January transfer window is open and David Moyes is looking to bring reinforcements to the London Stadium. Check out my analysis on the matter and see the latest West Ham transfer news.
What areas they need to strengthen?
West Ham have had a great start to the season being in 10th place with 26 points out of their first 17 games of the Premier League campaign. But they do need to strengthen their ranks due to the lack of depth in the squad. The club-record signing Sebastian Haller departed for Ajax for around £20.25m. Robert Snodgrass also left the club to join West Brom for a nominal fee. This leaves West Ham with the thinnest squad in the league, with only 19 first-team players. They are full of depth in defensive areas as they have a lot of centre backs and quite a few full-backs, including the recent signing of Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague. The right-back impressed thus far in the season.
They have quite a few goalkeepers with Łukasz Fabiański close to signing a new deal at the club. But midfield will be an area for improvement for David Moyes in the winter transfer window. In particular, defensive-minded midfielders will be the key as they only have Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Mark Noble who can play in that position. Wide players is not a concern for David Moyes as West Ham have quality wingers on both sides. Also, they have Felipe Anderson out on loan at FC Porto. However, the striker position is the most problematic and needs strengthening. The Hammers have only one senior striker at the moment – Michail Antonio. They probably need to bring in at least one striker or maybe even two.
Finances and good signings
Over the last year or two, West Ham have been really strapped for money after investing heavily in the era of Manuel Pellegrini. Namely, they broke their transfer record twice in two seasons, bringing in players like Felipe Anderson and Sebastian Haller. The owners haven’t invested a vast sum of money since Pellegrini left the club during the Christmas period of the 19/20 season. It has been a “sell-to-buy system” at West Ham, but due to amazing recruitment by David Moyes and his staff, they have started well to this campaign.
The signing of Tomas Soucek from Slavia Prague for around the £15m is the highlight of the signings for me. The Czech midfielder has added a solid defensiveness to the team and shows hard work and determination. Also, he has popped up with some goals this season, which West Ham have missed the previous term.
What players have been linked and what players they need?
Moving on to the players West Ham have been linked with over the past week of the January transfer window. Names of a few players emerged and have been scouted by the club such as Ecuadorian wonderkid Moises Caicedo, who has been monitored by several Premier League clubs, including giants Manchester United. According to the trustworthy sports journalist Fabrizio Romano, West Ham have been in talks with Independiente del Valle. They have been speaking to Caicedo’s agent as well.
Another player who is West Ham’s target is Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, who plays for Ligue 1 side Strasbourg. He is a talented young midfielder, who is very versatile and can play in different roles. That’s the key reason why David Moyes will like him. He is 22 years old and has played in the U21 France national team, which is a promising sign that he could become a world-class player. Bellegarde has played around 40 games in the French top division over the past two years. That is good for a player who is looking for experience and development.
The Championship as an interesting market
The Irons monitored the Championship closely in the last few windows, looking for young hungry players to make the step up and make an impact at West Ham. Josh Da Silva is another player who interests West Ham. He plays for Brentford this season and has played really well but got sent off recently in their Carabao Cup semi-final tie against Tottenham.
Many strikers have been linked to the club in this window. The reason for this is because of how much West Ham need a striker. They need a particular type of striker with a solid amount of speed, so he can run into the channels. Furthermore, the striker should be able to hold up the ball constantly, just like what Antonio has been doing since the start of Project Restart.
The most heavily linked player is probably Joshua King from Bournemouth. The Norwegian can play on the left-wing role and has got Premier League experience, which is the key. King also has quite a cheap price tag because he is out of contract in the summer, and wants to leave the club to a Premier League side. One of the negatives to the potential move is that he has rarely featured this season, while he doesn’t have the greatest goalscoring record in the Premier League.
Return of the prodigal son and more talents from the Czech Republic
There has been a rumour of Marko Arnautovic coming back to the club on a loan deal. That rumour has split the fan base in whether they would like him back, considering how he left the club.
West Ham are also looking at some players from the Czech league – from both clubs in Prague. Sparta and Slavia are producing great talents, and they are fairly cheap. We know West Ham have profited from this in the past. The players are Adam Hlozek and Abdallah Sima. I think they could be good signings as they are young and talented. Even if they don’t fit in the starting XI, they can be good squad players, and their value will go up because of their age.
So in conclusion, I think that West Ham need to reinforce in the areas I have spoken about. They have to use their money efficiently to do well – something they failed to do in the past. Stay tuned for more West Ham transfer news in the coming days, and more news from the Premier League.