West Ham have been linked with a number of players this summer, as they look to reinforce their squad for the upcoming season. The Hammers will have to acquire some top talent after barely surviving the drop last year and in order to stay clear of another relegation battle. Avram Grant will have a tough task in seeking out the right players to improve the current side, but with the backing of the David’s, Grant will surely be able to work his magic in the market this summer.
Anyway, to make it easier for the fans and Avram Grant himself, here are 5 realistic candidates that the East London club could and should look to bring in this summer to enhance their current squad for the approaching season:
Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth)
The Algerian international is highly unlikely to stay put at Portsmouth after the club suffered relegation to the Championship last season. The 28-year-old left-back is too good not to be in the Premier League, and having worked under Avram Grant with Pompey last season, a possible move to West Ham would be ideal for both parties’. The full-back has blistering pace, a hard work ethic as well as the ability to flight a beautiful ball into the box from the flanks. This week, Belhadj conceded that he is unsure of his future, but remains adamant that it is away from Fratton Park. Belhadj represented his country in the World Cup finals this summer, and managed to start all 3 group games which no doubt enhanced his reputation even further with a string of good performances. The tenacious full-back would make a great addition to the Irons squad as they do lack competition in this area. Herita Ilunga is the starting left-back, but lacks competition with 19-year-old Fabio Daprela the only recognized cover. The Hammers should look to acquire Belhadj as he will be going for a bargain price (an estimated £4 million) due to Pompey’s financial crisis, and with Grant knowing the player personally, the Israeli will have a slight advantage over the other clubs interested.
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth)
Kevin Prince-Boateng is another player who will be up for grabs this summer after the midfielder was confined to the Championship with Pompey last season. The German born Ghanaian is currently in South Africa representing Ghana in the World Cup, and has produced some great performances so far. No doubt the player will be heading for the exit doors at Portsmouth this summer as his displays in the biggest tournament have done nothing but impressed other clubs around Europe. West Ham have been tracking the attacking midfielder for sometime now, and the Hammers could be a good place for Boateng to continue his development. The 23-year-old will be forced to move on should a good offer be put on the table, due to Portsmouth economic position. West Ham need to bolster their midfield and add a bit more attacking prowess within it, Boateng would surely offer this to the Irons. Avram Grant had Boateng on his books in his Portsmouth days, and like Belhadj, has a good relationship with the player. A bid in the region of £4-5 million would see him at Upton Park this season.
Thierry Henry (Free Agent)
It’s surely worth West Ham offering a contract to one of the best players ever to play in the Premier League. Thierry Henry decided to leave Barcelona earlier this week, and the Frenchman will now have to decide where he wants to continue his already grand career. The 32-year-old is tipped to go to the USA, but the striker has not ruled out a shocking move back to the Premier League this summer. The Hammers have expressed their interest in the French forward in the past, and with Henry leaving the Catalan club a year earlier than expected, West Ham could and should pursue the cause even further now. The Frenchman had a disappointing World Cup this year, which was primarily marred by dramatics within the French camp, but the nonetheless, Henry is still a class act. However, Avram Grant’s side does lack class, composure and the right level of finishing ability upfront. Thierry Henry, even at his age, is still regarded as one of the best in the business and would surely add all this to the West Ham squad this season, should they continue to chase him of course. As mentioned before, Henry is a free agent, so to be fair, there is no harm in Grant trying to land him this summer…what’s the worst that could happen?
Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth)
Portsmouth do hold an array of talented players and Aaron Mokoena is certainly within this group. The South African captain and Portsmouth defender has proven to be a towering force both in the Premier League last season, as well as for South Africa in this years World Cup tournament. His performances for Bafana Bafana this summer would have no doubt enhanced his reputation, as he was clearly one of the best players for his nation during their time in the competition. As everybody knows Pompey are in financial calamities and will be forced to sell any player should good offers be tabled for them this summer. Aaron Mokoena will no doubt be getting some form of interest after showing the world that he is an accomplished and solid centre-back. Matthew Upson may be on his way out of Upton Park after Sunderland and Spurs have shown an interest in the defender in the past. However, should Upson decide to leave, Mokoena would certainly make a good replacement for the England international. Yet, even if Upson decides to stay for another season, West Ham should still enquire about Mokoena, as he would still be a good capture who would add depth, experience and solidarity in the Hammers back-line. Avram Grant has worked with the 29-year-old before and will no how the defender best operates, again his connections with the player is good, and if Grant can land him for cheap, then why not go for him this summer. A £4-5 million bid would be enough to acquire the Bafana Bafana skipper’s services.
Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC)
Vincent Enyeama was arguably one of the best shot-stoppers in the World Cup in South Africa this summer. The 27-year-old impressed immensely for Nigeria during his time in South Africa, pulling off some amazing saves and commanding his box brilliantly. Much deserved praise has been heaped on the Hapoel Tel-Aviv keeper, and such performances have already attracted several clubs in the Premier League which include the Hammers. West Ham really lack in the goalkeeping department with Robert Green being the only establish goalkeeper at the East London club. Avram Grant will need competition in this area and who better to buy than Enyeama. The Nigerian is more than likely to make a move from the Israeli League this summer and could go for less than £3 million. His price tag would have been lower, but has been raised due to performing well at the World Cup…still £3 million would look to be a bargain for such a gifted goalkeeper. Enyeama deserves his chance in the top-flight of English football, get him in Avram.
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