West Ham United have sealed the return of goalkeeper Darren Randolph and there is a theory there is more to the move than meets the eye.

West Ham have star man Lukasz Fabianski back fit after three months out.

And while the hapless Roberto was nothing short of a disaster as the Poland goalkeeper’s deputy, David Martin proved a steady pair of hands.

Many West Ham supporters have questioned the club’s decision to spend money bringing in another back-up goalkeeper. Particularly with several reports claiming money will be tight for David Moyes in the January window.

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Randolph’s return all part of the plan?

But is the signing all part of a cunning plan to enable West Ham to land a star signing?

The East Londoners have been consistently linked with the likes of Gedson Fernandes, Sander Berge and Gabriel Barbosa.

Signing any of those players is an exciting prospect for supporters.

And Randolph could be the first part of the puzzle to make that happen.

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Roberto and Sanchez to free up space for the likes of Fernandes and Barbosa?

West Ham currently have no spaces for non-homegrown players in their squad as per Premier League rules.

The arrival of homegrown Randolph is expected to expedite the exit of Spaniard Roberto, a summer signing from Espanyol.

With Roberto gone West Ham would have a space for one of the foreign trio they have been linked with.

Reliable insider ExWHUemployee claimed West Ham are looking to offload Roberto and fellow flop Carlos Sanchez this month.

So the Colombian could be next, with a possible contract termination on the cards if that’s what it takes to free up a second spot for a Fernandes or Barbosa.

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Wishful thinking? Joe Allen the reality?

Justifiably cyncial West Ham fans fear the club will end up with another ageing, faded star instead. Probably signed on deadline day. On loan, with the option to buy.

Some like, dare I say it, Joe Allen?

What supporters really want to see is young, hungry talents coming in wanting to prove themselves and build something meaningful for the future.

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