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Six potential signings: West Ham’s exciting potential 2018/19 line-up

Manuel Pellegrini’s summer spree shows no signs of ending.

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West Ham
Photo: Getty Images

West Ham have wasted no time completing transfer business this summer, with Manuel Pellegrini already signing four new players.

The Hammers endured a disappointing campaign last term, flirting with relegation to the Championship, but have gone all out on the market to rejuvenate their squad ahead of Pellegrini’s inaugural season at the London Stadium.

Four fresh faces have already arrived in east London and more are expected to follow, giving West Ham a very exciting potential line-up for the 2018/19 campaign.

GK: Lukasz Fabianski

Signed from relegated Swansea City for a reported £7 million fee, Lukasz Fabianski arrives to solve what has been a major problem for West Ham in recent seasons by becoming the club’s new number one – following Joe Hart’s disappointing loan stint last term.

The Poland international was one of few bright sparks for the Swans last season and boasts immense Premier League experience, having previously represented Arsenal, and should definitely improve on a defensive line that conceded 68 goals last term – the joint highest of any side in the top-flight.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

RB: Ryan Fredericks

After starring in Fulham’s promotion-winning campaign, Ryan Fredericks has moved across London to join West Ham after months of speculation. While the Hammers do have veteran Pablo Zabaleta to consider, it is expected that Fredericks will become first-choice on the right side.

In 47 Championship appearances last season, Fredericks contributed seven assists to his team, per Whoscored, and that creativity will prove to be a tremendous asset to a team that struggled for consistency in the final third.

CB: Declan Rice

There was not too much for West Ham fans to get excited about last season but the meteoric rise of Declan Rice certainly stands out as one of the highlights of the Hammers campaign, after the 19-year-old became a regular for David Moyes’ side and also earned his international debut with the Republic of Ireland.

Pellegrini’s transfer business this summer suggests that he will not be too reliant on the performances of the teenager next season, with the continued pursuit of Fabian Balbuena showing the Chilean boss wants depth in his squad, but Rice should be a starting defender after his excellent campaign.

CB: Issa Diop

Signed for a club-record £22 million, Diop arrives at West Ham from Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse and the outlay that Manuel Pellegrini has spent on the 21-year-old suggests that he will slot immediately into West Ham’s first-choice XI.

The France U21 international made 95 appearances for Toulouse despite his tender years and was also named club captain in October 2017, leading the club to the quarter-finals of the French Cup.

Toulouse’s performances in the league were poor though, only narrowing avoiding relegation, and a drop to the second-tier would have been likely if it was not for Diop’s performances at the back.

(Photo by Pascal Pavani/Getty Images)

LB: Aaron Cresswell

Only Pablo Zabaleta made more Premier League appearances than Aaron Cresswell’s 36 last season, according to Whoscoredand the 28-year-old full-back is likely to remain first-choice for the Hammers heading into Pellegrini’s tenure.

Arthur Masuaku will provide competition for Cresswell’s spot but the latter’s experience could be crucial to the West Ham defence – especially if Pellegrini elects to go with the young partnership of Diop and Rice at the back.

CM: Mark Noble

West Ham’s captain is entering his 15th season with the Hammers and remains a crucial part of the side. While the Hammers have been linked with the likes of Jean-Michel Seri and William Carvalho, it is likely Mark Noble will remain at the heart of West Ham’s side next term.

If he avoids injury, Noble could reach a landmark 400 league appearances for West Ham this season and he will be determined to secure better fortunes than the Hammers had last term. With 435 overall appearances for the Hammers, the 31-year-old ranks 14th in all-time appearances for the club.

CM: Cheikhou Kouyate

Cheikhou Kouyate’s versatility has been a tremendous asset to West Ham in recent years but stability in 2018/19 could bring the best out of the Senegal international, where the ideal role for the 28-year-old would be slotting into midfield alongside Noble.

Kouyate can provide a blanket of protection to West Ham’s defence, allowing the full-backs and Noble to push higher up the field, while he showed last season he can also be an influence in the final third – contributing two goals and three assists in the Premier League.

RM: Andriy Yarmolenko

A move to the Premier League for Andriy Yarmolenko appears to be imminent, as Sky Sports report the Ukraine international has arrived at West Ham’s pre-season training camp in Switzerland to complete a £17.5m switch from Borussia Dortmund.

Yarmolenko only moved to German football last year but, in a side that also boasts the talent of Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus, failed to make his mark. That should not be a problem for the 77-cap winger at West Ham, where his attacking flair on the right can provide a significant boost.

(Photo by Patrik Stollarz/Getty Images)

CAM: Jack Wilshere

Signed on a free transfer from Arsenal, the Gunners academy graduate joins the club he supported as a boy and will look to prove himself to the doubters after years of injury problems and a consistent lack of playing opportunities.

With Manuel Lanzini sidelined for a lengthy period due to injury, Wilshere can slot into West Ham’s line-up as the creative midfielder in the final third – a position he was never going to get too many opportunities to shine with at Arsenal due to Mesut Ozil but one where he should be able to prove his worth.

LM: Felipe Anderson

Having already broken their transfer record once this summer, the Telegraph states West Ham will blow that figure out of the water with a mammoth £40 million deal to sign Brazil ace Felipe Anderson from Serie A outfit Lazio.

The 25-year-old, capped once by Brazil in 2015, can provide a significant boost to a West Ham attack that struggled for consistency last season and was overly reliant on Marko Arnautovic – a player who Anderson can craft a deadly partnership with next season.

ST: Marko Arnautovic

Although not his natural position, Marko Arnautovic led the line on numerous occasions for West Ham last season and proved his worth in the role, performing significantly better than Mexico international Javier Hernandez.

The Austria ace netted 11 Premier League goals in his debut campaign at the London Stadium, saving the Hammers from relegation, and deservedly won the club’s Player of the Year award.

With the likes of Wilshere, Anderson and Yarmolenko behind him, Arnautovic could easily hit double figures again next term.

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West Ham United

Three strikers West Ham must consider after Andy Carroll’s latest setback

A new striker is needed with Andy Carroll out for three months.

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Andy Carroll
Photo: Getty Images

West Ham have been extremely active in the transfer market this summer but Andy Carroll’s latest injury leaves their forward line severely undermanned.

With Javier Hernandez not managing to fully impress in his return to the Premier League last term and Jordan Hugill featuring for just 22 minutes after signing from Preston in January, news from BBC Sport that Carroll will miss the first three months of the season following a recurrence of an ankle injury is not surprising.

Admittedly it is not a massive surprise given Carroll’s injury history and the latest setback shows Manuel Pellegrini where he needs to focus on strengthening his side, otherwise it could be another turbulent campaign in east London.

“Andy played and scored in Sunday’s match but is still reporting some discomfort in his ankle and further scans have revealed that he requires some minor surgery to provide more strength and stability to the area.”

Head of Medical, Richard Collinge, provides an update on Carroll’s injury.

Fortunately, though, there are bargains to be had in the market and we have collected three ideal targets here.

Gregoire Defrel – Roma

First linked with a move to West Ham last summer by Tuttomercatoweb, Gregoire Defrel eventually moved across Serie A from Sassuolo to join Roma but the France striker has struggled to make a positive impression during his time at the Stadio Olimpico.

The 27-year-old netted just one goal in 15 league appearances for Roma and Corriere Dello Sport claim he could be on the move once again, with West Ham attributed with an interest in his services alongside Sassuolo and Genoa.

While his record in front of goal last season was poor, Defrel would present a decent option in the squad for Pellegrini as an alternative to Mexico star Hernandez.

(Photo by Enrico Locci/Getty Images)

Bas Dost – Sporting Lisbon

Seemingly linked with a move to the Premier League since the dawn of time, the Netherlands striker may end up coming to a stadium near you very soon following his departure from Sporting Lisbon – cancelling his contract after being attacked by fans at the training ground.

With 61 goals in 61 league appearances for the Portuguese giants, the availability of the 29-year-old on a free transfer is something West Ham should definitely not pass them by, having first tried to move for the striker way back in 2012, according to ESPN.

As far as free signings go, Bas Dost could potentially be one of the best in years and there is little risk attached to a transfer. He could even end up playing ahead of Javier Hernandez rather than a back-up option.

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Roberto Inglese – Napoli

Sky Italia (h/t Sky Sports) first reported West Ham’s interest in Napoli striker Roberto Inglese in June and speculation could begin to mount after Carroll’s injury, following a successful spell on-loan with Serie A minnows Chievo last term – scoring 11 goals in 32 appearances.

At 6 ft 1, Inglese could be the target man to replace Carroll in the long-term and the 26-year-old may be a better option to lead the line than Hernandez. However, his reported valuation of £17 million may be a difficult figure for a side, whose spending is approaching £100 million, to finance.

Sporting Lisbon, the club enduring a torrid time in the market amidst a wealth of departures, have been mentioned as potential candidates for Inglese’s services but West Ham should certainly make a move to beat them in the hunt.

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West Ham United

One winner and one loser as West Ham sign Andriy Yarmolenko

The Ukranian international signed for a £17.5 million fee.

Max Cohen

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Andriy Yarmolenko
Photo: Getty Images

On Wednesday, West Ham United announced the signing of Borussia Dortmund winger Andriy Yarmolenko, for a reported £17.5 million fee.

The news was greeted by West Ham supporters, as they had acquired the services of an impressive player with Champions League experience, and it spelled good news for West Ham’s strikers who will now enjoy a wealth of excellent service.

Yet, the signing must have been a blow for Felipe Anderson, the Lazio winger who has been heavily reported to be on his way to east London as well.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Winner: West Ham United strikers

The plight of the Hammers’ strikeforce has been well-publicised: until last season, no player had reached double-digits in Premier League goals for the club in over a decade.

Javier Hernandez, Andy Carroll, and co. will be chomping at the bit to play alongside a winger of Yarmolenko’s quality, who is well-known for his wicked delivery.

The addition of the 28-year-old will bring an increase in dangerous crosses and attacking firepower to their forward line, surely resulting in a more respectable goal tally for the club’s struggling strikers.

(Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Loser: Felipe Anderson

The Brazilian winger is said to be extremely close to a move from the Stadio Olimpico to the London Stadium, but his plans must have been thrown into disarray after the announcement of fellow winger Yarmolenko.

It seems the Hammers will splurge on hefty transfer fees for players who largely occupy the same position, meaning Anderson’s dream of moving to the Premier League with West Ham will be more arduous than he had expected.

Normally, when a club pledges a £40 million fee (as reported by BBC Sport) to sign a player, they make that figure a key part of the squad.

Yet, by bringing in Yarmolenko, the 25-year-old Anderson faces a far tougher task at West Ham, where he will be forced to enter into a battle for a starting spot from day one at the club.

There is no reason why such competition is a bad thing for supporters, as a battle for places can result in an uptick in effort from all involved.

However, for Felipe Anderson, the signing of a direct competitor just days before he is reportedly set to sign will surely hurt his confidence.

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West Ham must go all-out to land World Cup finalist Steven N’Zonzi

The Hammers need to ensure they win the race for the World Cup finalist attracting plenty of interest.

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Photo: Getty Images

New West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has wasted no time diving into the market for new additions but there is still room for improvement in his squad.

The Hammers have already signed Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop and Jack Wilshere, while deals for Lazio’s Felipe Anderson, Borussia Dortmund’s Andriy Yarmolenko and Corinthians’ Fabian Balbeuna are poised to go ahead – leaving West Ham with an exciting XI for the 2018-19 season.

However, Pellegrini’s deals have focused around rejuvenating his defensive line and providing attacking support for Hammer of the Year Marko Arnautovic, largely ignoring a major problem area at the heart of midfield.

(Photo by Cristina Quicler/Getty Images)

While Wilshere’s arrival should ease the concerns surrounding Manuel Lanzini’s long-term injury absence, West Ham need a combative midfielder to play in a holding role to protect a defence that conceded a league-high 58 goals last season.

French outlet Le10Sport suggests West Ham have found their man in the form of Steven N’Zonzi, stating the Hammers are fighting London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham for the services of the World Cup finalist, who came off the bench for France in the 1-0 semi-final victory over Belgium.


“A team is not only stars, he has no genius but he is effective in his role.”

– French national team boss, Didier Deschamps, after selecting N’Zonzi for his World Cup finals squad.


With a mammoth release clause of £35 million, 29-year-old N’Zonzi would be an expensive recruit for Pellegrini’s side but he is the sort of player that West Ham have been crying out for in recent years – and securing a deal would erase the memories of the embarrassing saga surrounding Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho last summer.

While West Ham’s activity in the market so far has been impressive, and the other additions on the horizon will catch the eye, the Hammers need to make a major statement of intent as they seek to climb the Premier League rankings next term.

Beating Arsenal and Tottenham, who can both offer European football, to the services of N’Zonzi would do exactly that, so it is time for West Ham to go all-out in pursuit of the former Blackburn and Stoke man.

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