We are now five days into the January transfer window and it’s so far been, well… a predictable anticlimax.
Indeed, only four signings have been made in the Premier League this month and only one from a club in the top half of the table – second-placed Leicester City swooping for Birmingham City prodigy Demarai Gray.
West Ham look set to be one of the Premier League’s quietest sides this month. They made a sizable investment in playing personnel during the summer, spending around £30million, to kick off the Slaven Bilic era at Upton Park.
Nonetheless, not every January signing has to be a permanent one. The Hammers have made a number of successful loan additions in recent years – the likes of Alex Song, Manuel Lanzini and Carl Jenkinson – and there will be plenty of temporary acquisitions up for grabs this month as well.
With that in mind, here are FIVE suggested loan signings we at Football Fancast think the Irons should consider during the January transfer window.
With no Hammers forward scoring more than three Premier League goals so far this season, a strikeforce addition certainly wouldn’t go amiss during the January transfer window.
In that regard, it’s hard to look past Chelsea’s Loic Remy, who has been largely forgotten about amid the Premier League champions’ shock slump to the lower echelons of the league table.
Indeed, the France international has seen a miserly 146 minutes’ worth of action in the Premier League this season, netting just the once in the process, and will be desperate to secure more regular game time with Euro 2016 on his home soil just around the corner.
There’s no doubting the 29-year-old’s scoring credentials, however; before joining the Stamford Bridge ranks in 2014, he’d notched up 20 goals in 42 Premier League appearances during prior spells with QPR and Newcastle.
One problem, however, is the intense competition for Remy’s services. Aston Villa, Newcastle, West Brom and Swansea City have all been linked over the last few weeks.
PSG prodigy Adrien Rabiot shocked everybody at Parc de Princes, including manager Laurent Blanc, upon declaring in December that he wants to go out on loan for the second half of the season.
It remains to be seen if the 20-year-old will get his wish. But if he does, which is not exactly unlikely considering places at Euro 2016 are still up for grabs and PSG are already 29 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table, the Hammers would be wise to get in on the act.
Indeed, Rabiot is widely regarded as one of the most exciting midfield prospects in Europe, combining an imposing 6 foot 2 frame with a cultured passing game and great ball-winning ability, and he’d certainly bring a touch of technical class to the Hammers’ engine room.
The France U21 would be a superior option to summer signing Pedro Obiang, for example, and a six-month loan could well pave the way for a permanent move in the summer. What a coup that’d be!
No list of suggested loan signings can truly be complete without a mentioning of MLS, whose biggest stars often return to Europe in January to sustain their fitness during the American top flight’s offseason.
And no MLS star is likely to eclipse the demand of former Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco this month, who has spent 2015 making the rest of the league look rather amateurish by recording a potent haul of 22 goals and 16 assists in 33 appearances from his debut campaign with Toronto FC – winning not only the division’s Golden Boot but also the Top Provider award and the MVP award.
An Italy international who registered over 200 appearances in European football during his spells with Juve, Empoli and Parma, the 28-year-old is a well-established talent who certainly won’t struggle with the change of pace at Upton Park. In fact, the scintillating speed largely viewed as his most defining strength seems perfect for Premier League football.
Likewise, capable of playing on either flank, as a No.10 or an out-and-out striker, Slaven Bilic won’t struggle to find room for the Italian forward in his starting Xi.
Having impressed on loan at Villarreal last season, bagging four goals and seven assists in 26 La Liga appearances, Denis Cheryshev came incredibly close to a Premier League move in the summer – with Arsenal and Liverpool particularly keen on the Russian winger.
‘Crunch talks’ with Rafa Benitez convinced him to stay on at Real Madrid instead, but it hasn’t worked out for the nine-cap international, who has not only gone on to make just two substitute appearances in La Liga but also inadvertently disqualify Los Blancos from the Copa del Rey for fielding an illegible player.
Safe to say, he’s not the most popular figure in the Spanish capital at the momentand the recent change in regime at the Bernabeu, Zinedine Zidane taking over from Benitez yesterday afternoon, probably won’t do him too many favours either.
In comparison to some of the other names on this list, Cheryshev is a bit of a punt. But West Ham’s squad would certainly benefit from another wide option and the 25-year-old’s natural pedigree, as a Bernabeu academy product and former Real Madrid B star, remains undoubted.
Carl Jeninkson is the only out-and-out right-back in West Ham’s senior squad this season, leaving centre-half James Tomkins to fill in at No.2 during the Arsenal loanee’s recent injury absences.
He remains a bit of a gamble, having managed just three senior appearances across all competitions since signing for Manchester United in summer 2013, but youngster Guillermo Varela would provide some emergency cover at right-back until the end of the season.
The Uruguayan is highly-rated at Old Trafford and recently broke into Louis van Gaal’s first team due to an injury crisis, looking decent if rather unspectacular during his Champions League debut against Wolfsburg last month.
An attacking full-back who likes to venture forward, the 22-year-old would offer something a little different to Jenkinson on the right-hand side.
But there are probably more experienced options on the market and with Jenkinson set to return to the Emirates at the end of the campaign, West Ham might be better off targeting a permanent acquisition instead.