West Ham dipped into the Championship last summer to snap up two of it’s most prodigious talents – Diego Poyet and Aaron Cresswell – and they look set to do the same in the coming transfer window, amid reports the East London club are targeting Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, as claimed by Mirror Football.
The 23 year-old’s 20 league goals have all-but-mathematically-confirmed The Cherries’ promotion to the Premier League for next season, and left him third in the Championship’s scoring charts.
Whether Bournemouth would be prepared to sell their key striker ahead of their first ever Premier League campaign, or whether Wilson would actually want to ditch them at this moment in time, remains to be seen.
But laced with equally promising, youthful prospects, the Hammers would be wise to further scour the English second tier for potential summer targets.
And just to prove it, Football Fancast have listed FIVE Championship prodigies West Ham should target along with Bournemouth’s latest star.
With rumours rife Aaron Cresswell could be snapped up by Chelsea in a £20million deal, West Ham could find themselves in need of a new left-back this summer – and no Championship No.3 epitomises their physical style better than monolithic Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings.
Indeed, the 22-year-old is better famed for his blistering pace and willingness to contribute going forward, this term bagging four assists in 39 Championship appearances whilst averaging 1.2 successful dribbles and 1.4 created chances per-match, but he’s also blessed with the imposing frame of a Premier League centre-half, measuring in at a whopping 6 foot 5.
He was valued at £8million by The Daily Mail in December amid rumoured interest from Arsenal and Chelsea. But neither club made a formal offer in January, suggesting the Hammers could pick up where the Premier League powerhouses left off this summer – especially if The Tractor Boys miss out on promotion to the top flight.
With Matthew Jarvis hopelessly out of form, Enner Valencia a more natural centre-forward and Stewart Downing proving himself more accomplished in central capacities, West Ham have been without a genuine winger for much of the season.
Enter Norwich City’s Nathan Redmond, a pacey touchline-hugger equally comfortable on both flanks who’s claimed three goals and ten assists in 42 Championship appearances this term.
The 21-year-old has also averaged an impressive 2.4 chances created, 1.8 accurate crosses and 2.3 successful dribbles per match – the latter statistic being the third-best return in the entire division.
Also boasting 10 goals and 57 caps for England across the junior levels, Redmond’s potential is without doubt – which is why The Canaries rejected a £5million bid from Southampton last summer, as reported by Mirror Football.
Should fourth-place Norwich miss out on promotion back to the Premier League this season, however, they’ll likely be forced to sell the prodigious wideman.
Dan Burn might not be blessed with the same natural talent as some of the other names on this list – or for that matter, some of the other youngsters to have represented Fulham this season.
But measuring in at a gigantic 6 foot 7, the centre-back is an incredible force in the air, this term averaging 4.5 successful aerial duels per match alongside 2 tackles and 2.1 interceptions, rendering him already capable of having some impact at Premier League level.
And still just 22-years of age, the capacity is certainly there for Burn to learn on the job. If he can improve the rest of his skills over the next few years, whilst gaining top flight experience, he’ll emerge as one of the better centre-backs in the division.
West Ham were linked with a £4million bid ahead of the January window, as reported by The Daily Mail, only for Fulham boss Kit Symons to issue an ever-cliched hands-off warning.
With Fulham now set to spend another term in the Championship, however, they might be more willing to cash in on their monolithic defender this summer.
One of just four 17 year-olds to have featured in the Championship this season yet boasting an impressive 16 league starts, Charlton Athletic’s Joe Gomez’s recent performances have caught the attention of Arsenal and Manchester City, according to The Daily Mail.
The youthful defender is speedy and agile, comparable in style to a young Rio Ferdinand, and in addition to impressing at The Valley has also made waves within the England fold; he’s racked up 25 caps for The Junior Lions, and in May 2014 was named in the Team of the Tournament for the U17 European Championships.
Having already shown great promise in the English second tier, Gomez seems destined for Premier League football at some point in his career. It’s believed Sir Alex Ferguson was also courting him for Manchester United until his retirement in summer 2013.
Despite such interest from the Premier League’s summit, Charlton’s apparent valuation of £8million should be well within West Ham’s financial reach this summer. And whilst Arsenal, City or United could offer Gomez the glamour of a ridiculous salary, closer locality and greater first team opportunities give the Hammers a more unique appeal.
Technically not a Championship player, but it remains to be seen if room can be found for Alex Pritchard in a Tottenham midfield already bursting with prodigious talent.
The 21-year-old is certainly an impressive prospect, however. Last season he claimed six goals on loan at Swindon Town in League One and he’s added to that this year with eleven goals and seven assists in 44 appearances for Brentford – earning him a spot in the Championship’s Team of the Season.
Pritchard offers a solid contribution to all-round play, this term averaging 1.7 tackles, 3 shots, 2.5 chances created, 1.1 successful dribbles and 1.3 accurate crosses per match, but the attacking midfielder’s defining gift undoubtedly remains his incredible potency from dead ball situations.
He’s probably not at Premier League level just yet but would be a wise addition for the Hammers with the next few years in mind.
That being said, Spurs’ rejected Brentford’s attempts to sign him permanently in January, as reported by The Daily Mail, so it might take an unjustifiable bid to convince them to sell in the coming transfer window.