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West Ham United

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

Josh Challies

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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