Arbeloa to retire
Ex-Hammers defender Alvaro Arbeloa announced his retirement from football yesterday, just a matter of days after being released by Slaven Bilic. We signed the former World Cup winner at the start of last season as back up for Sam Byram, but Arbeloa endured a tough time at The London Stadium as we struggled last season. In the interview with Marca where he announced the end of his career, the 34 year old described his time with us as “tough”. The former Liverpool man was never expecting to be a first team regular last season, but it is understood that Arbeloa was expecting to make more than four appearances in Claret and Blue. So, with the retirement of another of football’s modern greats, only time will tell whether he has had the desired impact on young right back Sam Byram.
Hammers announce first Germany friendly
The club has, in the last few days, announced the first friendly stop on our pre-season tour of Germany in fourth division side Altona 93. The tie will take place three days after the second leg of The Betway Cup against Werder Bremen and will be held at The Adolf-Jager-Kampfbahn Stadium. Altona 93 are one of the oldest teams in Germany and the Hamburg based club have been semi-finalists in the German Cup twice. However, only a handful of pre-season fixtures have been announced and it remains a mystery as to who we will be playing when we visit Austria in mid-July.
Oxford pleased with loan
Our young centre back Reece Oxford has expressed his pleasure after joining German giants Borussia Monchengladbach on a season long loan. The 18-year-old joked about his lack of German language skills as he joined the former Bundesliga champions and had this to say in his first interview as a Gladbach player: “I think this will be a great step for me”.
Oxford signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal back in December and has been tipped to be the future captain under Slaven Bilic. The homegrown talent impressed on his Premier League debut against Arsenal in August 2015, but has struggled to instigate himself in the first team since then. Oxford was also starved of senior appearances in the second half of last season on loan at Jaap Stam’s Reading. So, will the young starlet finally get the first team action that he needs in Deutschland.
Transfer gossip: Hammers eye international duo
It has been rumoured in the last few days by HITC that Slaven Bilic is keen on an £8 million move for Sporting Lisbon keeper Rui Patricio. The Euro 2016 winner impressed last season as Sporting finished third in the 2016/2017 Primeira Liga, but the 29-year-old is now reportedly wanting to broaden his horizons. Could the Portugal international be the latest competition to Adrian for our number one spot?
It has also been reported this week by The Daily Star that we have moved closer to the signing of Nigeria international Henry Onyekuru as he moves closer to securing his UK work permit. The Eupen forward has notched 28 goals in 58 games for the Belgian club, as The Gunners also look poised to rival us in the race to sign the 20-year-old. So, could the sought-after youngster be the answer to our attacking problems next season?