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West Ham United

West Ham need to sign Joao Mario permanently this summer

Reports suggest the Portuguese international has a £24 million price-tag.

Jake Jackman

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Photo: Getty Images

West Ham United can now look forward to another season of Premier League football after their impressive away victory over Leicester City and the planning for the summer will be underway.

It will be important to recruit well and build a team that can push for a top-half finish. The supporters won’t accept another relegation battle and it is evident that big changes need to be made if the club is to progress in the right direction.

One of the first items on the summer agenda will be to sign Joao Mario to a permanent contract. The midfielder has impressed during his loan spell from Inter Milan and there will be a desire to extend his stay at the London Stadium.

Should they wish to do so, Calcio Mercato have suggested that the Hammers can sign Mario from Inter for £24 million in the summer.

The Portuguese international has slotted in as one of the attacking midfielders behind Marko Arnautovic and has quickly emerged as one of the better players in the team.

In his eleven matches, he has scored two goals and contributed one assist, which is a good return considering he is adapting to a new league.

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Against Leicester City at the weekend, he was one of the standout performers and showed his quality as the team battled to mathematical safety.

He got the opening goal thanks to some intelligent movement and a nice finish. It was an important strike and provided confidence for the performance that followed.

It was a surprise when West Ham signed Mario as it wasn’t long ago that the midfielder joined Inter Milan for an eye-watering fee, but he didn’t fit in at the club and the Hammers pounced when the opportunity arose.

This past weekend, he showed his ability in both halves of the pitch. In addition to his goal, he made three key passes and linked up well with Arnautovic and Lanzini.

Moyes has established a formation that allows for a fluid front three and their interchanging in the attacking half can be difficult to deal with.

Although he is played in an advanced role, he has defensive responsibilities and he carries those out well.

Mario completed two tackles and made three interceptions to show his work rate and ball-winning ability. He covers a lot of ground and his energy is a welcome addition to what was a laboured West Ham midfield during the first half of the season.

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

His performances have improved over time and he looks set to finish with a flourish this season.

The World Cup will be in his thoughts and he will have played his way into the thinking of the Portugal manager.

Since Euro 2016, he has tested himself in Italy and England. Mario may not have found his permanent home yet, but he will be stronger for the experiences he has endured.

West Ham are one of the bigger clubs outside of the top six and they will want to progress into a top ten force over the coming seasons. Their aims should be to challenge for Europe and win a domestic cup competition.

If they are to be successful in that, they need to sign players like Mario. He is an established international midfielder who has already proven he can do well for the Hammers.

His permanent signing should be a priority this summer.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

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West Ham United

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

Josh Kerr

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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

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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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West Ham United

Manuel Pellegrini move for former player Willy Caballero makes sense

The Argentine goalkeeper is currently at Chelsea but West Ham may make a move.

Mathew Coull

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West Ham United need a new goalkeeper this summer. Last year they signed Joe Hart to replace a reasonably in form Adrian. The England stopper flopped at the London Stadium. Adrian, however, has not shown some of his previous better form since coming back into the side.

The Hammers can now start planning for the upcoming season and begin thinking about potential transfer options. They have appointed a new manager and Manuel Pellegrini is expected to get plenty of backing in the transfer market this summer.

One player that he might want to consider signing is a man he has worked with on two separate occasions in the past.

Willy Caballero is currently the back-up to Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea. The Argentine stopper may be 36-years-old, but he still has plenty to offer. When it comes to saving penalties, there may not be anyone better in world football today.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Pellegrini is the man who first brought the veteran stopper to England. The Chilean signed his fellow South American as back-up to Joe Hart back in 2014. He has also previously worked with him at Malaga and, as reported by The Sun, a reunion at West Ham does now seem like a possibility.

It would be a smart piece of business for West Ham. Caballero is surely not happy sitting on the bench at Stamford Bridge. At West Ham, regardless of whether they bring in another new face or not, he is more likely to get first-team football and enjoy the latter stages of his career.

It is a deal that makes sense on paper and would not come at a heavy price for West Ham. Fans should hope that Pellegrini can put this one together in the coming weeks.

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