This summer is set to be a big one for West Ham. Although the season started well in east London – there were even dreams of Champions League qualification over the winter period – a post-Christmas slide leaves the Irons very much in the midtable zone of the Premier League, which, although far from disappointing, is a state of affairs plagued by ‘what ifs?’
Sam Allardyce looks almost certain to go and a new manager with more razzmatazz is on the menu going into the club’s last season at Upton Park ahead of the Olympic Stadium move.
New signings will, however, be needed, and although some foreign imports are in favour among the fans, a look at a few bargains from the relegation zone could be wise.
With that in mind, here are FIVE stars set for the drop that West Ham could gamble on….
By far the standout player in the relegation zone, Austin has been mightily impressive this season. In a poor ‘Super’ Hoops team, the 25-year-old has smashed 17 Premier League goals, which is a tally only bettered by Diego Costa, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero. While the aforementioned trio ply their trade in the upper half, Austin has been making do alongside the likes of Bobby Zamora!
Reports have already suggested that the former Swindon Town man will be on the move in order to stay in the top tier, with a figure of around £10m needed. With only 43 goals, the Hammers have the second worst return in the top half of the table, so Austin could remedy a big issue.
Although he’s quickly becoming the ‘new Nigel Quashie’ following back-to-back relegations with two different sides, Fer is certainly not a poor player. In between dropping with Norwich and joining QPR’s cause, the midfielder played for the Netherlands at the World Cup, and even got on the scoresheet in Brazil.
If he can be kept interested and motivated, which have appeared to be issues, the 25-year-old is a very promising player, with his mix of athleticism and technical ability making him a fearsome prospect in the middle of the park. He could potentially replace loanee Alex Song.
Although his 14 assists as Burnley romped to Championship promotion have not been replicated in the top tier, Trippier has still impressed, albeit in a more quiet way. The 24-year-old right-back has been restricted by the Clarets’ slightly more pragmatic approach this season, but he’s still averaged 1.9 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per game, which are very much on a par with his Championship exploits.
With Carl Jenkinson likely to return to Arsenal after a fairly impressive loan spell in east London, Trippier could be an ideal replacement, and is unlikely to command a major fee.
Hull are by far the most likely candidates to join QPR and Burnley in moving down to the Championship. Two points from safety with Spurs and Manchester United to play, it’s hard to see where any points, let alone the win they need. Are coming from.
Although he’s missed the entirety of the season with a dislocated kneecap, Scotland international Snodgrass is a player who may be worth a gamble, with the wide midfielder having been impressive in the Premier League. Prior to joining the Tigers, the 27-year-old was Norwich’s standout performer as they slipped to relegation, with his dead-ball prowess and crossing ability major traits.
Another Hull player worth consideration is Robertson. With Aaron Cresswell attracting attention, a new left-back may be needed at Upton Park, and the young Scot is certainly a worth successor. Not dissimilar to the Hammers’ current option, the ex-Dundee United defender is likely to move on should the KC Stadium be hosting Championship football.
Pacey and able to swing in a cross, the 21-year-old is, albeit a little underwhelming, a potential good buy from the relegation zone.