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Three West Ham players ready to grab the headlines at Russia this summer

Ruari Macneil



West Ham United have endured a tough season this year, first under Slaven Bilic and now under David Moyes. Moyes has done a decent enough job to stabilise things in East London, as he goes about trying to rebuild the reputation left in tatters after spells with Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

Nevertheless, the Hammers will have a strong representation at the World Cup this summer with their international squad, a typical characteristic of any Premier League team. The following three players are West Ham stars who will be hoping to grab the headlines in a positive manner with quality performances for their national team.

Javier Hernandez

All time leading Mexico striker Javier Hernandez will be hoping to extend his international tally and fire Mexico through the group stages. The World Cup is where Hernandez drew attention back in 2010, earning himself a move to Manchester United where he has since kicked on to enjoy a fine career in Europe, playing for the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid.

Hernandez has experience mixed fortunes with the Hammers this season. He arrived with much expectation but has not made the impact he was hoping for. The Mexican should be settling for nothing less than a 20-goal season every time, and his eight strikes so far have been disappointing.

Nevertheless, this is all the more reason why Hernandez will be looking to put his woes behind him and remind everyone just what a handful he really is.

Manuel Lanzini

Argentine attacker Manuel Lanzini only recently made it into the national team, picking up three caps in the last 12 months. The 25-year-old is by far one of West Ham’s most talented players and, with some seriously stiff competition in the Argentina set-up, Lanzini will surely be content with making it on to the pitch for some game time at a major tournament.

Lanzini will likely be a bench option but, with his bags of quality, he could be a really strong impact player for Jorge Sampaoli. A convincing showing from Lanzini in Russia this summer could kick-start the international career that the former River Plate star has been crying out for.

Joao Mario

Euro 2016 champion Joao Mario has become a regular in the Portugal side in the last few years since his rise to prominence at Sporting Lisbon. The Inter Milan loanee has been plying his trade at the London Stadium since joining up with Moyes in January. Having taken the Euros by storm in 2016, Mario will be hoping his Ronaldo-led side can make a similar impact at the World Cup this summer.

At 25, Mario probably imagined himself to be settling into life as a first-team regular at one of Europe’s top clubs. However, this season has proved that things have not quite gone to plan. Nevertheless, if the midfielder does himself justice in Russia, he should in theory have both West Ham and Inter dying for him to commit his future to them, and will be looking to bring his World Cup form back to the domestic scene in the coming 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.

West Ham United

Isaac Hayden wants move down south and West Ham should oblige him

The Essex-born midfielder wants to move back south and West Ham would be the perfect fit.

Mathew Nash



West Ham United have made some excellent signings this summer, with many eye-catching arrivals. Big names like Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko have all arrived at the London Stadium.

But West Ham do not appear to be done, with numerous other rumours doing the rounds. Whilst bringing in eye-catching big names is fantastic for West Ham, they should also be considering the less extravagant but just as important recruits.

One player West Ham should certainly be keen on is Newcastle United midfielder, Isaac Hayden.

He recently handed in a transfer request at St James’ Park as he wants to return to the south. A former Arsenal youth product, he is actually good pals with new West Ham recruit Wilshere. The Essex-born 23-year-old would, therefore, relish the chance to head to West Ham and get his wish.

For West Ham, Hayden would be a fantastic recruit.

The defensive midfielder has played an unheralded but important role for Newcastle in the two seasons he has been up north. If looking for an indicator of his importance to the club, just look at the reaction from fans to the news he might be leaving.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Hayden is a reliable, versatile and no-nonsense option that West Ham could definitely do with in the heart of the midfield.

With Cheikhou Kouyate’s talents diminishing, Pedro Obiang recovering from knee surgery and Wilshere obviously prone to injury, having another midfield option could be key for West Ham.

They absolutely must pounce on this opportunity to bring Hayden back down south.

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West Ham United

West Ham’s Manuel Pellegrini is right to put faith in Toni Martinez



Photo: Getty Images.

New West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini have spent big this summer already with several impressive additions, though none of them have been for forwards. Now, it seems that the former Manchester City coach could put his faith in young striker Toni Martinez to back-up the front line.

Football.London say that the 21-year-old has impressed his new manager in training and could be set for more regular game time in the first team having been prolific in the youth teams.

In two seasons with the under 23s since joining from Valencia, he has scored 25 goals in 29 games and done enough to earn a shot in the eyes of Pellegrini.

Martinez made the bench for six Premier League games last season but did not make it off the bench, though he did make his first team debut with three FA Cup appearances under David Moyes.

“Toni’s on double figures and he missed probably six weeks of the season. He has come from abroad, has had to settle, has been learning the language. That shows just how well he has done. He’s an out-and-out goalscorer. He puts his foot through the ball and he’s clinical. Toni’s record is frightening at the moment.”

Youth coach Terry Westley on Martinez.

A loan spell in the Spanish second division with Real Valladolid followed, scoring once in 11 games, only two of them starts, as he struggled to earn a spot in a settled team which he helped to claim promotion back to La Liga.

It remains to be seen just what kind of role the likes of Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll will play under Pellegrini, but Martinez being given a more important role could indicate that he is not fully convinced by his existing options.

The 21-year-old is under contract until next summer and knows that this campaign could be a big one if he is to establish himself in the Premier League and this news will come as a major boost for the striker.

Now though, he has to transform his prolific reserve team form into goals at first team level with the challenges that such a test will bring with it.

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West Ham must learn lessons from Everton’s transfer mistakes

West Ham’s transfer activity is a cause for concern despite rising excitement.



West Ham
Photo: Getty Images

Manuel Pellegrini has been extremely active in the market ahead of his debut campaign at West Ham but there is room for concern.

The Hammers have spent in excess of £85 million, TransferMarkt figures show, and continue to be linked with a number of further signings before the transfer window slams shut in less than a month – despite already signing seven new faces.

On paper, deals bringing the likes of Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski and Andriy Yarmolenko to the London Stadium are exciting, particularly following a disappointing few years for the east London side, but problems could emerge.

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former Everton midfielder Leon Osman warned that too many new signings could unbalance the side and pointed to his old employers’ activity in the market last year as evidence to back-up his argument.

“You’ve just got to be careful bringing in all those players in one bunch. I mean, look at Everton last season. We brought so many players in with so much money that everyone expected the season would be fantastic. And it was far from it.”

Ex-Everton man Leon Osman fires a warning to West Ham.

The situation in modern football means that pre-season predictions are often widely affected by the activity that one side has completed in the market. In those views, more spending = more success but the reality is rather different.

A spending spree for Everton last summer led by Ronald Koeman saw the Toffees splash over £140m on new players, TransferMarkt states, and the new arrivals struggled to settle at Goodison Park, which eventually led to Koeman losing his job and Everton having a season to forget.

Like West Ham’s business, the captures of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaassen looked good on paper but at the end of the campaign it was only really Pickford who could hold his head high.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Pellegrini’s activity at West Ham this summer is eerily similar; an experienced but out-of-form player with Premier League experience (Wilshere/Rooney), exciting attacking additions (Yarmolenko/Klaassen & Anderson/Sigurdsson), a goalkeeper from a relegated club (Fabianski/Pickford) and a free-agent full-back (Ryan Fredericks/Cuco Martina).

Settling all those signings into a new club is extremely challenging as each player will have their own expectations of playing opportunities and their preferred position, coming into a side that still has the likes of Declan Rice, Marko Arnautovic and Pablo Zabaleta to fit into things.

Perhaps the most concerning thing for West Ham is that Pellegrini is showing no signs of ending his attempts to land new recruits. The past week has seen another attacking player in Bernard linked by O Jogo, TuttoMercatoWeb state the Hammers are in the hunt for Genoa’s Diego Laxalt and continued speculation surrounding a potential swoop for Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles.

There is no guarantee that all those reports are genuine but the continued emergence of reported West Ham interest in a number of players suggests evidence that Pellegrini wants to land further additions before the new Premier League season.

The old saying goes that too many cooks spoil the broth and it seems that West Ham are busy assembling a team capable of feeding the 5000.

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