David Moyes is facing a midfield minefield at West Ham United in the next transfer window.
With football shut down for the foreseeable future there is much to be resolved to end the current campaign let alone plan for the next one.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen the Premier League – and virtually all sport – on hold.
That includes West Ham’s battle against relegation.
It remains unclear how such issues will be decided. West Ham will be joined in a meeting of all 20 Premier Clubs today to discuss potential scenarios and timescales (Sky Sports).
Massive midfield uncertainty for Moyes
But as and when the next transfer window does come around, Moyes faces massive uncertainty and a host of decisions when it comes to West Ham’s midfield.
The easiest decision is Carlos Sanchez. The hapless midfield flop is out of contract and will be released.
Then there is the Jack Wilshere issue. The injury ravaged central midfielder has made just 10 Premier League appearances in two years since signing for his boyhood club.
Reports suggested West Ham could look to release Wilshere in the summer by coming to a deal over the last year of his contract (Football Insider).
Then there is Andriy Yarmolenko. The Ukraine playmaker has looked good in spells but is another who has suffered with injury since joining for £18million in 2018.
Yarmolenko was due to return to the squad for the Wolves game before the league was shut down. But reports claim West Ham are keen to sell him and recoup some of their outlay (Football Insider).
Moyes must also make big decisions on Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson. The South American duo are two of West Ham’s most talented players.
Big decisions to be made over host of players
But neither has performed anywhere close to their capability or expectations this season.
Lanzini only recently signed a new long-term deal. But Moyes has stated he wants to build a new-look West Ham around young, hungry players. And Lanzini and Anderson may well be sold on to raise transfer funds to implement that plan.
Tomas Soucek’s future will also be at a crossroads in the next window. The Czech Republic midfielder has been a breath of fresh air since signing on loan in January.
Soucek has been a big hit so far but his future rests entirely on whether West Ham stay up. Survive and the club have the option to buy. Go down and Soucek will return to his parent club (whufc.com).
Then there is captain Mark Noble, who is set to play a reduced role next season (Claret & Hugh). The 32-year-old admitted the club has been overly reliant on him and should not be looking to him for answers (talkSPORT).
The future of Declan Rice will also undoubtedly be in the spotlight. The England midfielder has already been linked with a host of clubs in the next window such as Manchester United (Metro).
Rice captaincy lure as future will dictate academy trio
Rice recently admitted he wants to take over as West Ham captain one day. Perhaps that could be used as a lure to keep him at the club from next season. But like Soucek, Rice’s future will be dictated by West Ham remaining in the Premier League.
That will also likely decide the futures of academy trio Conor Coventry, Josh Cullen and Grady Diangana.
If West Ham are relegated it is likely all three will come into the first team fold.
But if Moyes keeps the Hammers up then Cullen and Coventry could be loaned out again while Diangana may be re-introduced to the the first team after a successful loan spell at West Brom.
One decision that appears to have already been made is over Robert Snodgrass. Reports this week claim the Scot will be offered a new deal and Snodgrass will remain at the club regardless what division they find themselves in next season (Claret & Hugh).
Midfield is undoubtedly the biggest headache for Moyes in the next window.
And it remains to be seen how long clubs will have before the start of a new campaign too.