All around the West Ham world, there are the loyal followers simply waiting now for the season to end and for the true trials and tribulations to begin. Which players will West Ham sign and more crucially will they be any good?

Sources would say that since the debacle of the January transfer window, Moyes and company have reworked the scouting system and even Moyes himself has put in the extra hours trying to find players that would fit his Hammers’ mould. This certainly doesn’t sound like a man who is ready to leave in the summer does it?

Of course, the fans are still hopeful of those elusive marquee players but it is more likely that the club will pick the meat off the dying clubs and attempt to turn the young or mediocre players into suitable West Ham potentials. Regardless of whether Moyes remains in charge, the squad is in serious need of reinforcement, not only for this season but for the future too.

If we ignore the players currently out on loan and also those plying their trades at the London Stadium, there is room for at least another 8 to 10 players to fulfil the club’s requirements, however it would be naive to think that there is enough coin in the Sullivan and Gold piggy bank to splash out on so many. So where are these players going to come from and how much are they likely to cost?

If the club manage to generate another £50million of new money, then in today’s prices, a single marquee player would swallow that sum whole. All fans know that the club would not spend that amount of money on a single player when the squad is deficient in so many areas…nor should they! So the likely targets topping the scale will cost in the region of £25million with the rest costing between £2million and £12million…which doesn’t buy a lot of quality or experience.

The key feature is for the club to target players that will balance the side and reinforce the second eleven, whilst spending a princely sum on one additional player to come into the first eleven. Many of the poor performances this season and last have been because of poor quality in depth, so this tactic may reap benefits for the future.

However, this should not be played in the same way as it was during the January transfer window; grabbing what they could with a few hours to spare. This requires advance planning and for the business to be done early in order for the manager…whomever that might be…and the squad of players to come together at the start of pre-season training and get to work on forming a strong nucleus and supporting cast.

One would assume that the club would try to raid the relegated teams for the cream of their crop, however it is more likely that the players may come in from Europe, Africa or South America, especially if they might feature in the World Cup in the summer. However the big risk with the club’s transfer target policy will be to fail to buy the right players that would hit the ground running within a largely dysfunctional squad which on paper should be a lot better than it is.

In many ways, surviving in the Premier League might actually be the worst thing for West Ham in the short and long term! What… “This is heresy” I hear you cry! Well, perhaps so, however by surviving, the club may deem that the squad already has the talent required to start another season, and Moyes being the ‘Yes-Man’ may just accept that too. So barley surviving will lead to another window of underinvestment or more loan signings. It all sounds alarmingly familiar doesn’t it?

Many moons ago, Moyes was known for bringing the youth into Everton and possibly that is his intentions for West Ham also. Of course the U23s and the youth policy needs to be reviewed at the club, however his attentions may be drawn to sign younger ball players who would be a wise investment for the future…on paper this doesn’t sound like a bad idea!

It really depends who will be making the final decisions on purchases and sales and how much extra money will be available to buy in new players and crucially which will be kept. Will Sullivan really take a step backwards…will the board supply enough money? Will they show the kind of ambition that the fans were promised or is it more likely to be another hash of a job to barely keep it going in the top flight? There will of course be discussions going on behind closed doors, but the manager really needs to be in charge of proceedings now. There cannot be any tactics drawn on the back of a fag packet, nor can they be wowed by a quick clip of some ‘Chatterley Lad playing ball’ whom they all become instant lovers of. There has to be a proper plan, real investment and the ambition to finally take the club forward…or at least give it a damn good attempt!

Gonzo

By Gonzo

West Ham fan for as long as I can remember. I was flukey enough to watch The Irons beat Bury 10-0 in my first ever game . . . True to form, West Ham then went out and signed their central defender 😬

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