Now homed by a 60,000 seater new stadium, this is undoubtedly a new era for West Ham – one the owners hope will bring more success both on and off the pitch than ever before.
Indeed, the future looks bright for the east London club – even if they’re enduring an inconsistent and unspectacular season – but that’s no reason to forget the past.
In fact, amid a period of such change, a little bit of continuity could go a long way, so we asked West Ham fans earlier this week to vote for which former chargers they’d like to see return to the club during the next transfer window.
The results of our exclusive poll are now in, so here’s a rundown of the top three.
A somewhat surprising pick at third place, Stewart Downing’s struggled to make an impact since returning to the Premier League with Middlesbrough this season, making only 13 starts in the top flight. But the former England international still has that quality left foot and he enjoyed a mini-renaissance during his time at West Ham, particularly impressing in central attacking midfield before returning to the Riverside Stadium, where he began his career, in 2015. Seemingly no longer a guaranteed starter at Boro, perhaps Hammers fans view him as a potential summer bargain, offering an abundance of Premier League experience.
Still very much a cult hero in east London, it’s no surprise to see Carlos Tevez rank so highly in our poll. After firing West Ham clear of relegation during his season-long loan spell with the club, the Argentine went on to lift domestic and European titles with Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus before returning to his homeland with Boca Juniors. One of the best forwards in the world at his peak, Tevez would still be a fantastic asset for Slaven Bilic – but he’s currently picking up handsome pay cheques in the Chinese Super League after joining Shanghai Shenhua in January.
He may have left Upton Park on rather frosty terms but it appears West Ham fans are ready to forgive that to have Jermain Defoe leading their attack once again. In fairness, the 34-year-old is enjoying quite the Indian summer, moving up to sixth in the Premier League’s scoring charts with 14 goals in 27 games and accordingly earning an England recall from Gareth Southgate. West Ham’s top scorer in the league, in contrast, is midfielder Michail Antonio on nine.