Ogbonna commits future
Our Italian defender Angelo Ogbonna has signed a new five-year deal at The London Stadium amid rumours of a move back to Serie A. The 29-year-old’s new deal will see him tied down to the club until summer 2020 and his wages are expected to rise close to the 100k per week mark.
Many Hammers fans were left relieved by the news, as Ogbonna has played a key role in Slaven Bilic’s first team in his first two seasons in East London. The Italian international also attained cult hero status when he rose to head home the 120th minute winner against Liverpool in the F.A Cup last season, the crucial goal would prove to be one of the last cup goals at Upton Park. So, will the former Juventus man be able to create more of these moments in the next five years?
Fans fume at Gold comments
Many Hammers fans have been left angered by comments made by Co-Chairman David Gold about his policy on youth players. The 80-year-old was speaking in an interview with Talk Sport earlier in the week, where he admitted that the times “The Academy of Football” were long gone. The boyhood Hammers fan also remarked that “Whether we can deliver like we have done in the past is more difficult now” and that new foreign internationals are putting more pressure on our English youngsters.
However, fans and pundits alike have been questioning Gold’s remarks, as talented youngsters like Reece Burke, Josh Cullen and Reece Oxford remain to be completely left out of the first team. The millionaire also made comments on our aims for the summer transfer window and responded to rumours of a move for Jack Wilshire. Gold was quick to play down the Wilshire link when he said, “We have to face the facts-we have got good midfielders”. It was clear from the interview that Gold, Sullivan and Bilic have made their minds up about the key areas that we need to invest in this summer, when the former Birmingham owner proclaimed that “It is clear to see from most fans that we are desperately in need of centre forwards”. It is also clear to see that Gold’s comments were not wrong, as frustration continues to boil within the Claret and Blue army at our lack of movement in this window thus far. With David Gold providing no real further insight into when we might finally find a suitable forward, many fans are left to question: will we ever sign a twenty goal a season striker?
Cresswell on “Austria nightmare”
Our England international left back Aaron Cresswell has admitted that he may need to forget last season’s pre-season tour of Austria before being successful in this one. The 26-year-old suffered a catastrophic knee injury in a friendly against German outfit Karlsruhe in Austria last July, the injury culminated in Cresswell’s longest spell on the side-lines of his career. Now a year on, the former Tranmere Rovers man joked about the incident in an exclusive interview with WHUFC.com, “Going back to Austria, I will have nightmares on the plane”. Laughing aside and Slaven Bilic will be surely vying for a more stress-free tour of Austria when we travel to the country in just a matter of days’ time.
Transfer gossip: Hammers hunt goal-scoring pair
It has been reported in the last few days by The Telegraph that we have had a club-record bid turned down by Cologne striker Anthony Modeste. The Frenchman was a hit in The Bundesliga last season, as his 25 goals helped his side to a 5th placed finish. It is understood that the bid was in the region of £22 million, a fee that would have surpassed the signing of Andre Ayew at £20 million last summer. However, the failed attempt is being branded as desperate as Slaven Bilic looks set to miss out on such attacking targets as Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott. In an inflated transfer market, the German side reportedly now want £35 million for the 29-year-old. Will Bilic end up paying over the odds to bring the former Nice man back to English Football, after a calamitous spell with Blackburn Rovers in 2012?
It has also been rumoured this week by various Spain based media outlets that we have had another shock club-record bid turned down for Villarreal forward Cedric Bakambu. The 26-year-old has enjoyed a successful spell at the Spanish club, a time in which he has notched 23 goals in 57 appearances. However, the Congolese international is understood to be reluctant to make the move as he is settled in Spain. So, could the former Sochaux man be our second club-record player in the space of 11 months?
Hammers Ladies land Stobbs
It was announced yesterday that our Ladies side have signed creative WSL forward Amber Stobbs from Everton. The deal marks the first signing of the new era for the side after the announcement of a reshuffle with Jack Sullivan at the helm. The exciting attacker has a vast wealth of experience after playing in The USA and WSL for both Reading and Everton. As well as her notable role within the first team, the former Washington Spirit woman will also take up a role as West Ham United Foundation Women and Girls Officer. As exciting signings continue to be made, the foundations continue to be laid for a bright future for our Lady Hammers.