This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
We can never be certain which players are on a Premier League club’s wishlist – if we did know, the transfer market would be an altogether different sphere of operation.
In West Ham’s case, however, two key areas of the team are in need of new faces – not desperately, but given the situations of two players, reinforcements may soon become a huge necessity.
The two players in question are Carlos Sanchez and Pablo Zabaleta.
Both men are well on the wrong side of 30 but are still being relied on by Manuel Pellegrini – the Chilean even said that Sanchez would be an important player for him this season, much to the bemusement of some West Ham fans.
The former Aston Villa man will be 34 years of age in January, and is coming into the current season off the back of knee surgery which saw him miss 34 games and 215 days of the 2018/19 campaign – that injury would be worrying for a fresh player in his mid-20’s, let alone a 33-year-old.
The Colombia international played in the Hammers’ Carabao Cup win over Newport recently as Declan Rice was rested, and he remains the only backup in Pellegrini’s squad for the England international – as a result, a new holding midfielder must be on the agenda.
Find out which Premier League stadium has been ranked the worst in the video below…
In Zabaleta’s case, whilst he is a dependable professional who made his 400th appearance in English football against Newport, he is set to retire at the end of the season, leaving just Ryan Fredericks as the Hammers’ only recognised senior right-back.
In regards to squad depth, that wouldn’t be a situation that Pellegrini should welcome and a new right-back and a defensive-midfielder should absolutely be on his immediate transfer wishlist.
If those two positions are not prioritised, it could leave the east Londoners in a real predicament with regards to squad depth.