West Ham’s five point January transfer window plan, as David Moyes looks to turn things around when Premier League action resumes.
The Hammers are in all sorts of trouble at the moment and are currently deeply embroiled in a relegation battle, with just one point separating us and the bottom three.
Moyes made eight big signings in the summer transfer window but as things stand, none of them have really hit the ground running.
Getting the best out of those players will obviously be one of his main priorities, but bringing in some new faces will be an absolute must as well in my opinion.
West Ham have a very busy end of December and January lying ahead, with Premier League games against Arsenal, Brentford, Leeds, Wolves and Everton all to come.
It will be crucial for Moyes and his players to hit the ground running when action resumes next week. But what can Moyes do to ensure that this season isn’t a complete washout?
West Ham’s five point January transfer window plan
The Hammers manager needs to make some new signings AND get the best out of the options that he currently has at his disposal.
Here’s what I think Moyes needs to do as a matter of priority this winter…
Sign a centre-back
This may well be the most important priority for Moyes in the January transfer window. Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd are both currently struggling with injury problems. Meanwhile, Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson are 34 and 32 respectively, whilst the latter has been heavily linked with an exit from the London Stadium this winter. Moyes has been heavily linked with a move to sign Nikola Milenkovic for around £12 million (Firenze Viola), and the Fiorentina defender would be my preferred signing in January. Whatever happens, the Scot must address his central defensive deficiencies before the winter transfer window slams shut.
Sign a right-back
Vladimir Coufal and Ben Johnson have both regressed badly over the past 12 months. The 30-year-old Czech Republic international is an absolute shadow of his former self, whilst Johnson continues to display a complete lack of concentration and positional awareness that has cost us dearly at times. The modern day game is built about having young, athletic and energetic full-backs who bomb up and down the pitch and influence the game at both ends. West Ham have been linked with the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Celtic ace Josip Juranovic is another name who Moyes allegedly wants to sign (90 Min). And I would be happy with either of those two. They would certainly be big upgrades on Coufal and Johnson, that’s for sure.
Sign a versatile forward
Moyes ended his long search for a striker when he brought Gianluca Scamacca to the London Stadium from Sassuolo in the summer. It could be argued that we need a lot more though. Michail Antonio will be 33 in March and is currently struggling with injury problems, as is Scamacca. If both of those are unavailable, Jarrod Bowen will have to deputise through the middle, but we then lose his quality out on the right wing. With that in mind, a forward who can occupy all three positions across the front-line should be targeted in January. Marcus Thuram is my pick of the bunch, and he has been linked with a move to the London Stadium already, so signing him is certainly possible.
Get the best out of Gianluca Scamacca, Lucas Paqueta, Maxwel Cornet and Thilo Kehrer
The Italian, Brazilian, Ivorian and German were arguably our best four signings of the summer, on paper at least. Moyes brought Alphonse Areola, Flynn Downes, Emerson and Nayef Aguerd to the London Stadium as well, but it goes without saying that we expect so much more from the first four players mentioned. Moyes has to devise a plan how to get Scamacca and Paqueta firing. The 23-year-old striker needs to play with his teammates operating in closer to him, and in order to do that, we need to be set up as a team further up the pitch. Meanwhile, Paqueta should be deployed deeper than he has been of late for the Hammers. This will enable him to dictate the tempo of the game alongside Declan Rice. Thilo Kehrer started brilliantly for West Ham, but he was an absolute disaster for the final month or so before the World Cup break. Moyes needs to find a position for Kehrer and settle on it. Perhaps he should move him into defensive midfield – a position he has played in before for both PSG and Germany. And lastly, Maxwel Cornet. Moyes must get to the bottom of the Ivorian’s injury, and when the winger is fit, he needs to play him high up the pitch on the left or right wing. Cornet can be a devastating player, he proved that during his time with Burnley and Lyon. Moyes just needs to let him off the leash.
Make one final attempt to keep Harrison Ashby
West Ham’s five point January plan ends with the 21-year-old right-back. Ashby has been heavily linked with a move to Newcastle this winter, with his contract at the London Stadium set to expire in the summer of 2023 (The Daily Mail). The Scotland under-21 international is a truly incredible talent – one of the very best to emerge from our academy in the last decade in my opinion. Losing him for a nominal fee in January, or even worse on a free transfer in the summer, would be a massive blow for West Ham. Ashby may well be set on leaving now but in spite of that, Moyes should make one final big push to keep him at the London Stadium. I have no doubt in my mind that the 21-year-old will go on to be a truly elite right-back.
If Moyes manages to address those five issues, I truly believe that we will have a prosperous second half of the season. There is obviously plenty of work to do, but if everyone at the London Stadium pulls in the same direction, I’m sure we will be just fine.
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