West Ham United are in for a busy summer transfer window, at least they should be if the club wants to build on their phenomenal progress under David Moyes.
Having saved the Irons from relegation with one game to go, the Scotsman has since guided them into Europe, which means a 50-plus game season is on the horizon in 2021/22.
Right now, you could write off the East London outfit from putting up a competitive fight throughout the entire duration of the campaign because simply put, they do not have enough strength in depth.
A new striker is paramount as is sealing a permanent return for Jesse Lingard, whilst central options at the back and in midfield wouldn’t go amiss, nor would a new full-back either.
This all means that GSB should have to back Moyes substantially in the transfer market but that may not be completely possible due to finances. Therefore, the Hammers boss ought to consider dipping into their talented Chadwell Heath academy set-up to plug a gap or two.
With Fabian Balbuena out the door following the expiry of his contract and doubts over the talents of Issa Diop, Moyes may want to look to talented U23 gem Ajibola Alese for a bargain solution to provide some much-needed depth in defence.
If the highly-rated 20-year-old can prove his salt, then the Hammers boss could well save David Sullivan and co several millions in the window this summer.
In the past two seasons, he has gotten a taste at a senior level, enjoying loan spells at Accrington Stanley and Cambridge United. And back in March, he was handed a new contract extension to tie him to the London Stadium to 2023, at the very least.
First-team coach Kevin Nolan has worked closely with the promising defender and told the club’s official website: “He’s a great lad, with a very good attitude towards his development, and he took a lot on board, in terms of what we expect from him and the targets he needs to set himself.
“I’m looking forward to working more often with Aji in the future. He’s a local boy from east London, which is such a big thing for this Club and our fans, and I can see how much it means to him to be here.”
Alese made his West Ham debut back in September 2020 during their 5-1 whitewash of Hull City in the Carabao Cup, where he received further praise about his abilities.
“Alese [is] a left-footed centre-half, which is gold dust,” claimed the former Love Sport Radio producer, before adding: “[Alese] looked like a seriously good player, as well – comfortable on the ball, good in the air, and it was just a joy to see two young players, who, not like [Declan] Rice or [Reece] Oxford, you heard lots about.”
It’s time for Moyes to promote him to the first-team set-up for next season. He may not feature at all in the Premier League but with three extra cup competitions, both domestically and on the continent, he could be a valuable asset to have amongst the squad.
AND in other news, West Ham could be about to repeat their Declan Rice masterstroke…