Sam Allardyce has wasted no time this summer in securing three signings – Ipswich Town’s Aaron Cresswell, Charlton’s Diego Poyet and Anderlecht ‘s Chiekhou Kouyate.
But charged with the task of moving West Ham into European reckoning whilst simultaneously evolving their much-maligned attritional philosophy into something more commendable next season, the Upton Park roster is far from complete.
A number of intrinsic issues need to be addressed, but as we know, Big Sam is a manager always determined to find the best bargains possible in the transfer market.
With that in mind, here’s a list of FIVE reasonably-priced acquisitions the Hammers could realistically make this summer, that would ‘complete’ West Ham’s squad.
In my opinion, by far the best option open to the East London side this summer is Manchester City misfit Micah Richards, whom they were strongly linked with last month:
West Ham are in for Micah Richards, who is set to leave Manchester City this summer http://t.co/3tX7tb2d0m
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) June 10, 2014
The 26 year-old contributed a vital six assists to the Citizens’ Premier League title in 2012 – the most of any top flight defender that season.
But a combination of injuries and the rise of Pablo Zabaleta has seen him make just seven league appearances in the two years since.
An impeccable athlete, boasting height, power, pace and strength, and also capable of playing at centre-back, as demonstrated below…
…the occasional England international would be perfect for West Ham’s attritional philosophy.
The Daily Mail claim that after rejecting a contract extension at the Eithad, Richards could be available for as little as £5million this summer, but recent speculation suggests Newcastle remain his likeliest suitors:
— Barclays League (@BarclaysLeague) July 3, 2014
It’s no secret that West Ham are short on fire-power, with seven-goal midfielder Kevin Nolan finishing up as the East London side’s top scorer last term.
And according to the tabloids, the need for added quality up top has thrust Sam Allardyce into the hands of World Cup hotshot Enner Valencia.
Enner Valencia linked with West Ham move after impressive World Cup http://t.co/WEsEDdWtai
— Daily Mail Football (@MAILfootball) July 9, 2014
The Ecuador international was in hot form at Brazil 2014, netting a goal per game…
The 25 year-old, who claimed a stunning 18 goals in 23 appearances for Pachuca last season, comes with a terrific leap…
…suggesting he would blossom under West Ham’s direct brand of football.
Mirror Football value him at around £12million, but interest from Arsenal, in addition to a number of other European sides, could prove an issue:
— Premier League VAVEL (@EPL_VAVEL) June 30, 2014
Valbuena and Giroud celebrating France 5-2 win pic.twitter.com/TkhtOEbRx6
— FootballAccumulators (@SportsAccumTips) June 20, 2014
If the Hammers are to branch out from their attritional roots next season, Sam Allardyce must add quality to the attacking third this summer.
And that desperate requirement has reportedly lead to interest from Upton Park in pintsized France international Mathieu Valbuena:
— WHUview (@WHUview) July 1, 2014
The 29 year-old produced good form last season and at the World Cup, as detailed below…
With his best moment being this applied finish to a Tricolores counter-attack against Switzerland…
Valbuena also produced this enticing assist to Paul Pogba…
And having stated his desires to leave current club Marseille earlier in the season, Valbuena is expected to actively seek pastures new this summer.
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) May 29, 2014
L’Equipe rate him at around €7million, but interest from Valencia could prove an issue:
— Andy (@SAFCsource) July 5, 2014
Another stellar addition the Irons are reportedly eying up is a move for Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham target Yevhen Konoplyanka:
West Ham bid £9.5million for former Liverpool target Yehven Konoplyanka http://t.co/Y5u2VStvkR
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 9, 2014
The three-time Ukrainian Player of the Year has been in sensational form for Dnipro this season, especially in the Europa League…
…and also netted this wonder strike against England at Wembley back in 2012…
TalkSport moot a £12million release clause, and recent speculation suggests it will have to be met in full for Sam Allardyce to get his man:
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) July 9, 2014
Call me crazy, but in my opinion, of all the potentially available players who could move West Ham into Europa League reckoning next season, Manchester United’s misguided Marouane Fellaini has to be pretty high on that list.
Things haven’t gone too well for the Belgian lankster since swapping Everton for Old Trafford last summer…
And the World Cup wasn’t too kind to him either…
But it wasn’t long ago the 26 year-old was considered to be one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. Just in case you need reminding, here’s the highlights from his 11-goal-five-assist 2012/13 campaign at Goodison Park…
Fellaini looks unlikely to survive the regime change at Old Trafford this summer:
— BelgiumWorldCup2014 (@BelgiumWorldCup) July 3, 2014
And The Express claim United will be prepared to sell for around £15million, but recent speculation suggests Serie A side Fiorentina are his likeliest suitors:
— Tribal Football (@tribalfootball) July 7, 2014