Manuel Pellegrini has selected a 23-man West Ham squad to travel to China for the Asia Trophy. West Ham will compete in the pre-season tournament commencing with a game against Manchester City on Wednesday 17 July.
Several fringe players, such as Josh Cullen and Ben Johnson, have been included. But Pellegrini only had space for 20 outfield players so a few will be disappointed to miss out.
Here are five players who will consider themselves unfortunate to miss out on Pellegrini’s 23-man squad for the China trip.
Marcus Browne has been training with West Ham in Switzerland for pre-season. The 21-year-old faces a make-or-break campaign after returning from his loan at Oxford United.
Last season, Browne caught the eye in League One. He offered pace, skill, strength and an eye for goal. But he needs to show that he can jump up two divisions. Missing out on the China trip does not bode well for the attacking midfielder’s first-team prospects.
Sam Byram spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest and his future is up in the air. The 25-year-old needs to prove his worth to Pellegrini now or risk leaving West Ham on a permanent basis.
But Pellegrini has decided to pick three other right-backs ahead of Byram: Ryan Fredericks, Ben Johnson and Pablo Zabaleta. This could indicate that the ex-Leeds defender is on his way out.
Exciting young winger Nathan Holland has been in Switzerland with the first-team. But he has been omitted from the China touring squad with Grady Diangana taking a spot instead.
The 21-year-old produced some stunning performances for the U23 team last season, scoring two and providing eight assists in 11 Premier League 2 games. But his omission from the China squad could suggest he might be sent out on loan.
Jordan Hugill can consider himself very unlucky to not get a call-up. The 27-year-old, who scored seven goals for Middlesbrough last season, is technically West Ham’s second striker.
Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez have left. But Pellegrini decided to pick just one striker (Javier Hernandez) in his squad rather than include Hugill too.
Many West Ham fans were shocked to see exit-linked Reece Oxford in the pre-season pictures in Switzerland. But his inclusion makes sense; if he is any good, he will save West Ham a lot of money.
The 20-year-old can play at centre-back or in central midfield – two areas that need addressing. But Pellegrini has left the England U20 starlet out of his squad to travel to China so he could be on his way.