Hammers boss David Moyes could take huge pressure off his West Ham summer rebuild with four quality free transfers.
How much money will Moyes have to spend on his West Ham rebuild this summer?
That will soon be the question on everyone’s lips when the window opens early June.
Expectations are high following the arrival of Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky as West Ham’s second biggest stakeholder.
Even more so given the disappointing January window when Moyes vowed he would rather ‘save his money and go big’ in the summer to get the players he actually wants.
This summer West Ham face a real crossroads as a club if they want to continue the brilliant progression of the last two years under Moyes.
The Hammers have the second oldest squad in the Premier League and a host of players out of contract, retiring or set to leave as they are not part of Moyes’s plans.
Several signings are needed in key areas such as up front, central defence and at left-back before the Hammers even begin to address the big turnover that is on the horizon.
On the face of it, West Ham will require at least six new signings and could need as many as 10-12 players in what Moyes himself has stated will be a big rebuild this summer (The Evening Standard).
In an interview with Alan Shearer for The Athletic last week Moyes also made his feelings perfectly clear to the West Ham owners that he must be backed his summer.
Signing that many players in one window – as we have seen with some of the prices quoted in January – will not come cheap.
West Ham allegedly saw £200m worth of bids rejected for the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha and Darwin Nunez in the winter window.
That’s just three players.
So it is clear the free agent market – which this summer will be awash with talent perhaps more than ever before in the modern era – will be key for West Ham.
And Moyes could take huge pressure off his West Ham summer rebuild with four quality free transfers which are very much attainable.
Lukasz Fabianski has signed a new one-year deal with West Ham. But he turns 37 next week.
With Darren Randolph set to leave, David Martin reportedly moving into some form of ambassadorial role and Alphonse Areola’s future as yet unclear, the first of those free transfer signings could be Sam Johnstone at West Brom.
The Hammers have been heavily linked with a move for the England ‘keeper as recently as this week (Daily Mail).
And given the large influx of players needed at West Ham this summer, it does in many ways make perfect financial sense to move for Johnstone although West Ham reportedly face competition from the likes of Spurs.
Much will depend on what Moyes does about Areola. If the Hammers spend the £11m to make his move permanent then it is highly unlikely Johnstone will move to West Ham as he would face being a number two or three at best for a season.
Another key position Moyes could fill with a free transfer is at centre-back by finally signing James Tarkowski.
The former England man is a longstanding Moyes target. And West Ham have seen several bids rejected by Burnley in the past (Sky Sports).
This summer the Clarets won’t have a say. And a recent Sky Sports transfer report claims the Hammers are eyeing a free transfer move for Tarkowski in the summer.
If West Ham can get a deal done for a top quality Premier League centre-back at a decent age – 29 – it would take the pressure off Moyes’s transfer kitty and free up cash for other areas.
Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson turn 34 and 32 respectively next month. The Italian is coming back from a serious ACL injury too. And there has been speculation Issa Diop could be sold to Lyon. So West Ham will require two centre-backs in the summer.
And they could potentially fill both slots for free with the Hammers having already approached German Niklas Stark about a move in the summer.
That’s according to a report from German website Kicker who claim that the Hammers could sign the versatile Hertha Berlin ace on a free transfer.
The next position Moyes could strengthen for free is that attacking midfield/second striker role with the return of Jesse Lingard.
Recent reports claimed Lingard is selling his home in Manchester and it will be a case of whether the Hammers can lure Lingard back to east London ahead of other interested parties like Newcastle.
Sky Sports insist West Ham still want Lingard this summer. Given his excellent relationship with Moyes and the scintillating loan spell the 29-year-old enjoyed at the London Stadium, the Hammers would surely be favourites.
Getting four free transfers through the door, covering three crucial positions, would hugely take the pressure off Moyes when it comes to spending on at least one striker – if not two – another central midfielder and a left-back.