A look at West Ham’s summer transfer window, how many signings are needed and what positions for David Moyes.
Let’s start by analysing what we know so far about West Ham’s summer window plans from the man himself.
Speaking to Standard Sport as he struggled to make signings he wanted in January, Moyes said he may elect to save the money and ‘go big’ in the summer instead.
“What I don’t want to do is waste any money,” Moyes told Standard Sport in January.
“I would rather keep it and pay bigger for someone next summer if I have to rather than waste it on someone that I might not use at the moment.”
As West Ham fans know only too well, the January window closed without any new arrivals despite everything the Hammers had to play for in the second half of the campaign.
“I need to keep adding good players, which is part of the club’s responsibility to keep with it…” Moyes told Shearer for The Athletic.
“We’ve got to be careful and not think, ‘This is it. We’ve gone straight up and that’s where we’re staying’. It’s going to take a lot of work even to stay where we are because the quality in the Premier League at the moment is through the roof…”
In a conversation with The Evening Standard Moyes did not beat around the bush.
“My own worry now is how to keep going for the next few years, how I build on it, how I keep growing it,” Moyes said.
“On and off the pitch, things will be broken which we’ll have to try and fix. Certainly, Mark Noble leaving will be one of them. We’ve got a fight on and I need to find a way of getting us stronger for next year…
“I see new players, I see a stronger squad, I see a change of the guard in some places because of what’s happening at the club. But that will be normal. We do have to make changes in the summer, we do need to look at how to move forward again.”
Expectations were high following the arrival of Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky as the club’s second biggest stakeholder and Rob Newman from Man City as head of recruitment.
West Ham fans were hugely disappointed at the lack of business in the winter window. And they will be even more expectant when the summer window opens on June 10th.
So let’s have a look at West Ham’s summer transfer window: How many signings and what positions are needed for Moyes.
Who is leaving or likely to be leaving?
Andriy Yarmolenko: out of contract, not being renewed.
Ryan Fredericks: out of contract, unlikely to be renewed, rumours of Fulham return.
Alex Kral: expiration of loan.
Arthur Masuaku: not in manager’s plans, West Ham will listen to offers.
Which players are coming towards the end in the not too distant future?
Angelo Ogbonna: staying for another year but turns 34 next week and coming back from a serious injury.
Lukasz Fabianski: now 37, reliable and has signed a new one-year deal but will he be the number one or the cup ‘keeper next season?
Aaron Cresswell: has been a brilliant servant but West Ham have needed a new left-back for years and Cresswell should have increased competition.
Alphonse Areola: expiration of loan, West Ham have option to buy – looking likely to stay.
Who has been linked away?
Declan Rice: but as West Ham fans know the new skipper will be staying for one more season at least.
Issa Diop: lots of talk of interest from France, still question marks over whether Moyes really fancies him.
Manuel Lanzini: There has been noise for some time that Lanzini wants to return to Argentina.
Nikola Vlasic: Talk West Ham could cut their losses Seb Haller style after a dismal debut season.
Darren Randolph: Was denied a move away in January by Moyes.
Areas already short before departures
Noble said himself in a parting message to West Ham’s owners that the club is already three players short as things stand – before the impending departures.
With everyone fit that would be up front, at left-back and central midfield.
But centre-back – despite having four senior players in that position at the start of the season – has been an issue too.
Young players realistically ready to be part of first team squad?
Armstrong Okoflex, Connor Coventry, Aji Alese, Jamal Baptiste, Sonny Perkins and Dan Chesters may be kept around as part of the squad. But it could be argued in many cases that going out on loan would do some of them good.
This summer is make or break for Coventry at West Ham, though. He wants to break into the first team squad and Noble’s departure could give him his big chance after an impressive spell at MK Dons.
How many players needed and in what positions for Moyes?
Six players look set to be leaving and at least three current first team players are ageing and may not be able to be mainstays of the side.
So Moyes will need at least six players this summer if not eight or nine given the team – in Noble’s own words – is already three short as it stands.
Six should certainly be the minimum he and the fans can expect if the Hammers intend to remain competitive domestically and in Europe.
The goalkeeper position needs to be sorted. West Ham fans have really taken to Areola and the Frenchman appeared to hint he may yet remain in east London. That could mean West Ham extend his loan from PSG or sign him permanently for around £11m.
Wages could be an issue but at 29, Areola could be West Ham’s number one for the next five or six years.
If Areola does not sign then Moyes will have to look elsewhere as West Ham must sign another goalkeeper and Nick Pope would be the standout.
A new left-back is needed. In truth Cresswell’s days at West Ham looked numbered until he was rejuvenated under Moyes. He has been a great servant and more than useful squad player given he can fill in as a makeshift centre-back. But West Ham need a new, athletic full-back on the left if they want to improve as a team.
A new centre-back is also needed. Diop’s future is unclear, Ogbonna is 34 and coming back from a big injury and Craig Dawson has turned 32. Moyes used Alese and Baptiste in the Europa League and they did well but did not call on them again despite several injury issues at various stages of the season.
Central midfield is a difficult one. West Ham definitely need another quality central midfielder. It’s not looking as if the Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek tandem can work as effectively with Rice’s development as a rampaging midfielder. With Noble leaving Moyes must replace him with a serious upgrade if West Ham are to push on. Someone like Conor Gallagher would be perfect as he would release Soucek to get forward more and has boundless energy.
Attacking midfield/wide-left forward is an issue. Said Benrahma is very inconsistent and Nikola Vlasic may well be sold this summer after failing to show any signs of being a Premier League player. In an ideal world Moyes lures Jesse Lingard back. But if he can’t then the position must be addressed regardless. It should be a player who – like Lingard and Jarrod Bowen – can act as a second striker.
Striker is the absolute top priority without question. The over reliance on Michail Antonio has cost West Ham a place in the Champions League two years in a row. Antonio – like Cresswell – has been an incredible servant to West Ham. But he turns 33 next season and has seriously struggled this year, going nearly FIVE MONTHS without scoring a Premier League goal in a nine month season. If Moyes wants West Ham to continue their progression he simply must sign a quality striker or at least one with plenty of potential.
Squad fillers will be key too. West Ham need six players ready for the first XI. But they also need better back-up in several areas.
Realistically players like Cresswell and Antonio should now start to transition into back-up for the first XI. There should be plenty of games to go around again next season so game time won’t be an issue. Young players will also have to step up and take their chance next season or face futures elsewhere.
Signing at least six first team quality players will not come cheap. So the rumoured £150m budget Moyes has will certainly be needed.
And West Ham fans will expect to start to see the benefits of head of recruitment Newman and the colour of Kretinsky’s money from here on in.