The January transfer window has never been the ideal opportunity to buy players, but gives Premier League clubs the chance to offload some deadwood from the wage bill before the season’s final run-in.
Nobody will know that better than Sam Allardyce – over the last few years he’s proved to be an exceptional operator in the transfer market, using his knowledge and negotiating to bring success at Bolton Wanderers and now West Ham.
And after spending around £30million during the summer, the Upton Park roster is looking a little overinflated. So with that in mind, here’s a list of FIVE players the Irons could axe when the transfer window reopens in January.
Some have contracts winding down, others want first team football and a few are simply surplus to requirements.
With summer signings Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho already proving to be an incredibly potent, new-look strike-force, rumour has it West Ham are looking to sell club record signing Andy Carroll in January:
— Sports Mole PL (@SMPremierLeague) September 28, 2014
Co-chairman David Sullivan dubbed the Hammers’ £15million investment in the crocked front-man ‘a mistake‘ during the off-season, having made just 15 Premier League appearances, scoring only twice, since the club acquired his services permanently from Liverpool in summer 2015. That was after a nine-goal loan spell the season previous, the highlights of which are viewable below:
The 25 year-old’s 6 foot 4 frame has come to epitomise West Ham’s direct style of play under Sam Allardyce, but with the East Londoners now branching out from their attritional roots, it remains to be seen just how well Carroll can perform under the new philosophy.
He’s currently sidelined once again after surgery on his ankle that will see him out until late November at the earliest, but that apparently hasn’t deterred interest from former club Newcastle:
Newcastle keeping tabs on former striker Andy Carroll’s fitness ahead of possible January bid: The England target… http://t.co/tuGoN4AZ1T
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) September 20, 2014
Carroll claimed 31 league goals for his boyhood club, propelling them out of the Championship and netting eleven times in the Premier League before moving to Anfield for a £35million fee in January 2011.
Likely selling fee:£7million-£10million
In regards to key centre-back Winston Reid, West Ham find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
The New Zealand has been vital to the Hammers’ successes since moving to Upton Park after the 2010 World Cup; he was an important figure in the side that got them promoted back to the Premier League in 2012, and a year later earned the Hammer of the Year award.
Last season too, there was a clear correlation between West Ham’s form and the defender’s fitness – in his absence from November to February, the Upton Park side’s league position absolutely tanked. Here’s a look at the 26 year-old in a Man of the Match display against Newcastle:
But Reid is yet to sign a new contract in east London, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season – an issue that’s been high on West Ham’s agenda since the summer.
A number of big Premier League clubs have taken notice, particularly Arsenal and Liverpool who are both currently enduring issues of fitness and form at the back:
Arsenal news and transfers: Gunners face three-way battle for cut-price Winston Reid: The inquest has begun after… http://t.co/RHmXP9ga6q
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) October 7, 2014
And the Hammers will have to decide whether to get a return on their star defender when the transfer window reopens or risk losing him for free in the summer. Co-chairman David Gold however believes Reid could yet agree new terms with the club:
— David Gold (@davidgold) October 5, 2014
Likely selling fee:£4million-£7million
19 year-old midfielder Diego Poyet joined the Boleyn ranks this summer after claiming the Player of the Year award at Charlton Athletic, despite only making his Championship debut in February this year.
The son of Sunderland gaffer Gus is an incredible prospect; last season he averaged the most tackles per match of any second tier player, as shown below:
And considering he’s now contending with the likes of Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan, Alex Song and Cheikhou Kouyate, he’s done well to make two appearances in the Premier League already this season.
But he’s not quite at the level of the top flight yet (understandably, seeing as his competitive career thus far consists of just 22 appearances) and a loan stint back in the Championship could do Poyet a world of good – something that was mooted back in September when the emergency loan window first opened.
It seems the highly-rated youngster could do with some breathing space from Upton Park too – he’s still in the doghouse with Andy Carroll and the fans for some less-than-positive tweets about West Ham and their towering front-man from a few years ago were recently revealed:
A big thanks to @diegopoyet7 for agreeing to make my morning cuppa every morning for the next month!!
— Andy Carroll (@AndyTCarroll) August 13, 2014
With rumours rife that Andy Carroll could be ousted in January and the potential for Senegal international Diafra Sakho to miss the busiest part of West Ham’s season with the African Cup of Nations, back-up striker Carlton Cole could suddenly emerge as an important player for the Hammers in the new year.
Furthermore, re-signing the 30 year-old mid-way through last season proved to be a shrewd move from Sam Allardyce – his six goals were vital in assuring the Hammers’ Premier League survival.
He’s already got off the mark this season too, netting in a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace.
But the former Chelsea, Charlton and Aston Villa front-man’s contract is up at the end of the season and the Irons will feel compelled to sell if a decent offer arrives in January. He was reportedly on the verge of joining Bournemouth during the summer:
West Ham ready to sell Carlton Cole to Bournemouth http://t.co/em7eXHMUGT
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) August 25, 2014
And move to the Championship when the transfer window reopens – or one of the Premier League’s relegation battlers – remains a likely scenario.
It appears Adolf Hitler however, wouldn’t be too happy if that was the case:
Likely selling fee:£500k-£1million
Matt Jarvis made his first appearance of the season against QPR on Sunday, having missed the start of the campaign due to a thigh injury.
But the Hammers have excelled in the winger’s absence, particularly attacking midfielders Stewart Downing, Ricardo Vaz Te, Mauro Zarate and Morgan Amalfitano, so it remains to be seen just how relevant Jarvis still is to the first team.
And in truth, the once-capped England international has never quite lived up to his billing since leaving Wolves for Upton Park in a £10million move two years ago, netting just four goals in the 64 Premier League outing since.
He’s yet to come close to paralleling his talismanic heights as Molineux, as shown in the below video:
West Brom were strongly linked to the 28 year-old during the summer:
West Brom chasing Matt Jarvis as boss Alan Irvine eyes cut-price deal: Despite making a big money switch to the… http://t.co/osfdxoX2OH
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) August 10, 2014
And although Sam Allardyce issued a hands off warning at the time, West Ham’s impressive league form could convince him otherwise by January.
Likely selling fee:£6million-£8million