West Ham are a club with enormous potential. Upton Park enjoys sell-out 35,000 crowds on a weekly basis, hosting one of the most passionate and militant fan-bases in the country. Furthermore, the East Londoners plan to move to a new home in 2016, the Olympic stadium, which is expected to significantly increase the club’s revenue.
But performances on the pitch in recent years haven’t quite reflected the Hammers’ almighty scope for growth. After continually bouncing between the Premier League and the Championship, Sam Allardyce has spent the last few campaigns using an attritional brand of football to solidify the Irons’ top flight status.
Perhaps that potential can be unlocked via the transfer market, a theory Big Sam appears to be subscribing to, having made five signings already this summer in the form of Diego Poyet, Enner Valencia, Cheikou Kouyate, Mauro Zarate and Aaron Cresswell.
With that in mind, here’s FIVE signings that could transform West Ham, propelling them up the Premier League table.
Despite the glaring inadequacies of Marouane Fellaini’s first season at Manchester United, summed up in the below vine:
I still believe the Belgian lankster would be an exceptional signing for most Premier League sides, including West Ham. It wasn’t long ago Fellaini was considered to be one of the best midfielders in the top flight, in no small part due to a return of eleven goals and five assists during his final campaign at Everton, the highlights of which are viewable below:
And although the Hammers are keen to branch out from their attritional roots this summer, there’s no doubt the 6 foot 4 afro-bearer would be a perfect fit for Sam Allardyce’s more traditional style.
Furthermore, Fellaini appears unlikely to survive the change in regime at Manchester United this summer:
— BelgiumWorldCup2014 (@BelgiumWorldCup) July 3, 2014
The Daily Express believe the Red Devils will sell for around £15million, but Fiorentina have emerged as the Belgium international’s likeliest suitors:
— Tribal Football (@tribalfootball) July 7, 2014
Another Manchester United misfit who could have considerable impact at Upton Park is much-maligned winger Ashley Young.
You can’t imagine Big Sam taking too kindly to the 29 year-old’s regular Tom Daley impressions:
But regardless, recent speculation suggests the Hammers are already planning a loan bid for the former England international:
Sam Allardyce wants Man Utd duo Ashley Young and Wilfried Zaha on loan at West Ham http://t.co/hF6Rt6o7EG
— Daily Mail Football (@MAILfootball) July 18, 2014
On his day, Young can be unplayable. Just take a look at this sensational strike from last season:
And he can produce that kind of thing on a semi-regular basis for West Ham, the winger could prove to be an astute addition.
Another wideman believed to be firmly in the Hammers’ transfer crosshairs is Dnipro talisman Yevhen Konoplyanka.
— IndyFootball (@IndyFootball) July 8, 2014
Also a long-term target of Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, the Ukraine international would be a sensational coup for the East Londoners. Just take a look at this wonder-strike against England from back in 2012:
The 24 year-old was in strong form last season, particularly in the Europa League…
…where he absolutely destroyed Tottenham’s Kyle Naughton:
But recent speculation suggests West Ham have been put off by Dnipro’s £12million demands for Konoplyanka:
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) July 9, 2014
Valbuena and Giroud celebrating France 5-2 win pic.twitter.com/TkhtOEbRx6
— FootballAccumulators (@SportsAccumTips) June 20, 2014
Pint-sized midfielder Mathieu Valbuena is by no means a natural fit for West Ham’s direct style, but I guess that’s kind of the point. Resultantly, and with the European elite seemingly shunning the 29 year-old, it’s believed the Irons are preparing a bid:
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) June 30, 2014
The France international produced good form last season and transitioned his displays into the World Cup, as seen below:
…where he netted against Switzerland…
…and produced this enticing assist to Paul Pogba…
And after announcing his intentions to leave Marseille earlier this season:
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) May 29, 2014
L’Equipe believe he could be available for as little as €7million.
Cardiff City youngster Jordon Mutch may not be a top flight star just yet, but his first Premier League season suggests the midfielder has a bright future ahead of him.
The 22 year-old was in great form for the Bluebirds last season despite often featuring from the bench, as detailed below:
This last-minute winner against Fulham particularly stood out:
And Mutch comes with strong pedigree, having represented England at U17, U19, U20 and U21 level.
Furthermore, following reported interest from Sunderland, Cardiff have placed a more-than-reasonable £5million valuation on the goal-scoring midfielder.