Seats sell fast for Altona clash
It has been revealed by the club in the last few days that almost 5,000 seats have been sold for our pre-season clash with German outfit Altona 93. The tie is set to take place on Tuesday 1st August at The Adolf-Jager Kampfbahn Stadium, with kick-off being at 5.30 PM BST. The clash is also scheduled for just a few days after the conclusion of The Betway Cup, which is this year being contested as a two-legged game against Werder Bremen in Deutschland. However, many Hammers fans are suggesting that are calibre of opposition isn’t strong enough to prepare us for The Premier League season in Germany, as recent trips to the country have seen us face such opposition as Schalke 04 and Malaga.
Nevertheless, Altona have a rich history within German Football and were one of the first teams to be founded in the country, the club have also been crowned as the Northern Germany champions most recently in 1914. The fixture will conclude the ten-day tour of Germany, and just three days later, the boys will travel to Iceland for a historic friendly against Manchester City. So how will we fair in our pre-season endeavours?
Quina receives Portugal Youth call
Our young Portuguese midfielder Domingos Quina has received a call up to his U19 national side for the upcoming European U19 Championships. The 17-year-old impressed last season as the U23’s gained promotion to the PL2 Division One, Quina’s efforts even earned him a nomination for PL2 Player of the Season. The starlet and his teammates will face opening group games against hosts Georgia, Czech Republic and Sweden, and the former Chelsea man is no stranger to European success after lifting the same trophy in the U17 bracket just last year.
However, Quina won’t be the only Hammer at the tournament, as teammate Nathan Trott was called up by Keith Downing to the England squad. So, will the promising duo end up meeting each other in the later stages of the competition?
Valencia bid rejected
It has been rumoured in the last few days by Sky Sports News HQ that we have rejected a bid from Mexican First Division side Tigres for our Ecuadorian forward Enner Valencia. The 27-year-old struggled in his first two seasons in Claret and Blue, failing to live up to his price tag of £12.5 million. The Ecuador international’s poor form culminated in a deadline day loan move to Everton at the start of last season, but Valencia continued to struggle, only scoring three goals in 25 appearances under Ronald Koeman.
The bid from Mexico comes in the wake of recent rumours that have linked Valencia to a move back to his former side, fellow Mexican outfit Pachua. With the frontman still struggling to show the dazzling form that was promised from his performances in the 2014 World Cup, many Hammers fans are urging Bilic and the board to let him go.
Transfer gossip: Hammers hunt European duo
It has been reported this week by Talk Sport that Slaven Bilic is eyeing a bid for Borussia Monchengladbach winger Thorgan Hazard. The 24-year-old may be in the shadow of brother and Blues star Eden, but he is a handy player himself after bagging six Bundesliga goals last season. Hazard is reportedly unsettled with his lack of first team Football at the German giants and is open to a move to England to secure more playing opportunities. So, could we be the club to bring the other Hazard brother to The Premier League?
It has also been rumoured in the last few days by The Sun that we are chasing another Continental European League star, this time in the form of Caen teenager Yann Karamoh. The 18-year-old is very highly rated in Ligue 1 after bursting onto the scene last season, and with RB Leipzig also reportedly interested, we may face some competition to land the starlet. However, France is famous for producing young talent like Karamoh and Slaven Bilic is understandably very keen on the pacey youngster.
Everton sign Hammers target Onyekuru
Hammers target Henry Onyekuru took to Instagram yesterday to confirm his move to Ronald Koeman’s Everton. The 20-year-old impressed last season in Belgium for First Division A side KAS Eupen, scoring 22 goals from 38 appearances. Many Hammers fans took to Twitter to express their rage at another missed player after the news yesterday and it is also understood that The Gunners were also battling for the forward. So, with another major transfer target going by the way side, who will we turn to next in our never-ending hunt for a suitable striker?
Hammers legend Parker retires
Our former three-time Hammer of the Year Scott Parker has announced his retirement from professional Football at the age of 36. His career spanned over 20 years and included 572 senior appearances with 18 England caps. The former Chelsea man joined us for a fee of around £7 million in 2007 from Newcastle and he would go on to pay back every penny. Parker would single handily save us from relegation in the 2009/2010 season and guide us to almost securing Europa League qualification the previous year. However, the England man was unable to prevent our relegation to The Championship in the 2010/2011 season, but his efforts were recognised as Parker became the only man in history to win The Football Writers Player of the Season award in a relegated team. Destiny called for an ageing Parking when his boyhood club came calling and he left us for Spurs just months later. The 2011 England Player of the Year was grilled by fans for the move and was marked as a traitor. Nevertheless, as wounds healed many Hammers fans came to realise that tough tackling midfielder will always remain an undisputed club legend.