West Ham transfer report: The deficiencies still in the club’s squad

The following article is a special report; all information presented has been gleaned from Football FanCast sources unless otherwise stated.

West Ham United have done some excellent business this summer.

They have broken their club-record transfer fee to sign Sebastian Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt for a sum that, per sources, could rise to £50m if he triggers certain performance-related bonuses.

Pablo Fornals also arrived for £24m from Villarreal, while there was a late flurry of activity as the Irons pushed through deals for defender Goncalo Cardoso and Albian Ajeti.

There remain some teething problems at the club, however, which Football FanCast runs through below!

Lack of defensive midfielders

If there was one area that West Ham needed to strengthen this summer, it was in deep-lying midfield.

They have sold Pedro Obiang and been left with Mark Noble, Declan Rice and Carlos Sanchez as their options.

Noble is a trusted lieutenant but played a more advanced role last season, whereas Rice is a superb prospect and a player who enjoyed a fine 2018/19. Sanchez is more of an unknown quantity at the highest level, having made just eight senior appearances for the club.

Sources confirmed to FFC that, following the signing of Fornals, there would be no movement to bring in a defensive midfielder.

That feels like a missed opportunity – an injury to Rice leaves Pellegrini relying on questionable options.

Not a great deal of Premier League experience

Haller is an excellent signing on paper – he scored 20 goals in all competitions last season – and so is Fornals, who enjoyed some exceptional showings at the Under-21 European Championships with Spain.

But neither player has Premier League experience and nor do the other new recruits.

Now, we have seen this summer that players with experience in the top-flight come at a major cost.

But there is a risk that signings from outside the Premier League will struggle to adjust; if they do, one feels they may regret the lack of experienced heads.

Goalkeeper depth

The signings of Roberto and David Martin have flown somewhat under the radar at West Ham and it is understandable, really.

The two goalkeepers are not the best.

Roberto played in four of the club’s pre-season friendlies, against SCR Altach, Manchester City, Hertha Berlin and Athletic Club. He conceded a total of 11 goals.

Martin, meanwhile, is a 33-year-old stopper who has endured a nomadic career, playing for the likes of MK Dons, Leicester City and Millwall.

Perhaps this is just a signing to boost the homegrown quota but one feels the club will be praying that Lukasz Fabianski, their undisputed No.1, does not pick up an injury this season.

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No money left

Don’t expect too many January signings.

West Ham spent an initial £45m on Haller and £24m on Fornals, taking their spending to £69m on just two players.

Sources told FFC that there was not too much money left in the final week of the window and that the deal for Ajeti, which could rise to £11m, was stretching the finances to breaking point.

There won’t be many new additions at the turn of the year, then, with Manuel Pellegrini likely to have to make do with what he currently has.

That could be a good thing if the Hammers are flying; if not, it could be a major worry.

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Article title: West Ham transfer report: The deficiencies still in the club’s squad

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