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West Ham United

Three West Ham youngsters ready to make the step up next season

The Hammers have a number of young stars ready to make the jump to the first team.

Ruari Macneil



Photo: Getty Images

West Ham fans will have gone into the current season with a lot of hope after making some useful looking signings in the 2017 summer transfer window.

The additions of Javier Hernandez, Marko Arnautovic, Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta saw some big names added to the squad, and there was even discussion of a possible top-four challenge.

Unfortunately for Hammers fans, the season has not gone quite as planned, as poor form saw manager Slaven Bilic replaced fairly early on by ex-Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes.

Moyes did a decent job to steady the ship initially. However, the club is by no means free of turmoil, despite currently sitting 14th and looking likely to avoid the drop.

Next season, some big personnel changes will definitely need to be made if the club are to kick on and enjoy a decent season of football that lasts the length from August to May.

With a number of promising youngster coming through the ranks, we have selected three individuals who will be looking to impact the first in the season ahead.

Josh Cullen

Josh Cullen spent the first half of the current season on loan at Bolton Wanderers, picking up some valuable first team experience in the Championship, making 12 appearances.

January saw the young Irishman move back to his parent club, and the midfielder has made a number of further appearances for the Hammers.

At 22, Cullen is reaching a critical age in terms of the make of break period at his current club.

Having drawn attention to himself from the West Ham coaching staff, the youngster will probably have the chance to kick on after the summer with further first team chances in East London.

With the midfield having been a real problem for Moyes since arriving at the club, the Scot may well be looking to use Cullen in a role of increased importance.

Having come through the ranks at the club, Cullen could be the perfect partner for Mark Noble in midfield, learning day to day how to conduct himself as an exemplary professional, standing him in the best stead for the rest of his career.

Reece Oxford

West Ham fans will have been dying to see more of Reece Oxford since the teenager made his debut for the club back in 2015.

The imposing central defender/midfielder is extremely versatile and has been playing in Germany for Borussia Monchengladbach on loan this term.

Oxford has made 17 appearances for the Hammers to date. However, is yet to enjoy a proper run in the team to allow to gather momentum and play himself into form.

At 19, he is still a very young prospect, but is definitely reaching the age where regular first team football is crucial.

The youngster may have only played a handful of times for the German outfit this season, but will have picked up some valuable experience playing in a different European environment, helping him to mature as a defensive player.

West Ham will no doubt be making some big changes to both their midfield and central defensive areas this summer, and Oxford should definitely be benefiting from this.

Domingos Quina

Portuguese starlet Domingos Quina is perhaps still slightly immature to be touted as a first team star next season.

However, having played for the club six times already, aged only 18, the youngster is clearly a highly rated talent in East London.

Quina joined the Hammers academy from Chelsea in 2016, going on to make his debut during the 2016/2017 season.

This term, the 18-year-old has gone on to feature a further four times, once in the FA cup and three times in the League Cup, whilst continuing to make an impact on the international stage with Portugal under-19s.

With Manuel Lanzini to learn from, Quina is definitely in a strong position with West Ham, and will simply be hoping for more of the same in the coming seasons.

Perhaps unlikely to become a regular starter just yet, the youngster definitely presents an exciting prospect off the bench for next season.

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

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West Ham United

Three things West Ham fans will demand from Manuel Pellegrini

Josh Kerr



Manuel Pellegrini
Photo: Getty Images

David Moyes left his position as West Ham manager after achieving the job at hand and ensuring the Hammers remained in the Premier League, guiding them to a 13th place finish.

Manuel Pellegrini has since been given the keys to the Olympic Stadium after the London outfit appointed the former Premier League manager on Tuesday.

Securing a manager for the long-term was of upmost importance for the Hammers this summer and Pellegrini will be fully aware of what is expected now he has taken over the reigns.

So, what three things should be of paramount priority to the new man in charge?

(Photo by Paul Ellis/Getty Images)

Moving certain players on

West Ham have had their fair share of dead weight this season, and if the Hammers are to move in the right direction then a summer clear-out is definitely needed.

Andy Carroll is one of those who has endured a fairly miserable campaign, scoring only three times in all competitions and the Englishman has failed to hit double figures in a single season since his permanent move from Liverpool in 2013.

Cheikhou Kouyate is another player that West Hams fans would happily see leave the club. The 28-year-old, who earns £60,000-a-week, has frustrated supporters all season with no-one actually knowing what position the Senegal international is best suited to.

These two names represent, arguably, those who are most likely to leave East London. However, there will be plenty more shown the door once the new Hammers boss has found his feet.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

Improve the defence 

It doesn’t take a genius to say that West Ham’s defence is in urgent need of a reshuffle after the Hammers back four conceded the most goals in the Premier League this season, alongside Stoke.

According to Football.London, David Moyes made it clear he wanted to sign at least two defenders this window, if he remained in the job, and Pellegrini will also be very likely to do the same.

The emergence of Declan Rice will likely confirm his future under Pellegrini, and Angelo Ogbonna has improved since January which could save his West Ham career.

However, the club will likely still want to see fresh faces come in and challenge for those central defensive positions.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Earn a top-half finish

Despite being a formidable force with Slaven Bilic in his first season, the club will not ask for too much from their new boss after the disarray the experienced over the last year.

The fans just want stability and a top-half finish will surely be enough to evidence that.

Moyes steered the club to 13th this season despite taking over when the club were third from bottom.

However, with a full season under Pellegrini, then a top-half finish is more than achievable with a strengthened squad.

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West Ham United

Reuniting Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri could lead West Ham to top half finish

Josh Kerr



Xherdan Shaqiri
Photo: Getty Images

The 2017/18 season represents one of the most bizarre for West Ham supporters as, despite finishing 13th, the club will see their third managerial appointment in just seven months, with Manuel Pellegrini the latest manager to take the reigns in East London.

One of the biggest tasks for the Chilean tactician will be getting the summer transfer window right. This will involve strengthening in key areas if the club are to meet fans’ expectations and achieve a top-half finish next season.

The previous window for the Hammers initially looked promising, with some proven Premier League stars joining the London Stadium, including the likes of Javier Hernandez, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart.

However, Hernandez has endured most of his time on the bench, while Joe Hart’s terrible form has seen him axed from Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Pablo Zabaleta can hold his head high with the Argentine already considered a fan favourite.

Marko Arnautovic was undoubtedly the star arrival of the summer window and, despite the club paying a record £20 million for the Austrian international, his form under David Moyes justified such a high fee.

The 29-year-old finished the season for the Hammers with 11 goals and six assists in 31 league games, also securing the club’s Player of the Year award.  

Arnautovic will have a huge role to play next season and getting him the perfect strike partner will be crucial in whether Pellegrini is considered a success or not.

One man who could prove to be the ideal foil for the West Ham star next season, is his former teammate and Stoke City forward Xherdan Shaqiri.

According to reports from The Sun, the Switzerland international is available for as little as £12 million, giving West Ham little reason not to swoop for the former Bayern Munich prodigy.

The speedy trickster finished the 2017/18 campaign with an impressive tally of eight goals and seven assists in 36 Premier League appearances but couldn’t help Stoke fight off relegation.

Under a manager like Pellegrini, who likes to play an attacking brand of football, the 26-year-old star could flourish to a great extent. His pace, skills and eye for goal are qualities that Hammers fans should not overlook.

Shaqiri has what it takes to make a difference for the Hammers next season and, having already played alongside Arnautovic for two seasons at Stoke, the duo will know each other’s game very well.

They could form a partnership that helps fire West Ham to a top half finish next term.

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West Ham United

Manuel Pellegrini should target reunion with Ignacio Camacho this summer

The new West Ham boss managed Camacho at Malaga.

Mathew Coull



West Ham United have appointed Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager and the Chilean is set to be handed a big transfer kitty to try and turn things around at the London Stadium. But where should he look to bring in improvements? As so many managers do, Pellegrini might go to his past. He has already been linked with former goalkeeper Willy Caballero and midfield maestro Yaya Toure. But if West Ham really want to look at some of his former players, one excellent option is Spanish midfielder, Ignacio Camacho.

The 28-year-old midfielder was a pivotal figure in Pellegrini’s midfield during his time at Malaga. The orchestrator of the side from the centre of the park it was during his time at Malaga that he received his one and only cap for Spain.

Often linked with a move to the Premier League, with the likes of Liverpool, West Brom and Watford mentioned over the years, Camacho finally did leave Malaga last summer.

(Photo credit should read CLAUDIO REYES/AFP/Getty Images)

He joined Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, taking over the captaincy at the club, and was supposed to lead them back into European football.

That certainly did not happen.

In the end, Wolfsburg only survived relegation by the skin of their teeth. Camacho, however, is fairly blameless. He underwent ankle surgery in October that saw his appearances diminish. He is now fully fit and played in both legs of Wolfsburg’s successful relegation play-off clash with Kiel.

West Ham, however, could surely try and lure him to England. The presence of his former boss Pellegrini would be a massive attraction for the player, who cost Wolfsburg a fee reported by ESPN to be in the region of €10 million (£8.8 million).

(Photo credit should read GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Hammers need another central midfielder and Camacho’s ability to play in a back three also makes him a double threat.

His vision, passing ability and leadership qualities would all be greatly received at West Ham where Pellegrini would hopefully get the best out of him once again.

If City are going to look at former Pellegrini players this summer, then Camacho should top that list.

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