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West Ham should look to Valencia’s Rodrigo Moreno to evolve their attack

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Photo: Getty Images.

A summer of change is on the horizon for West Ham United this summer with the board currently on the look-out for a new manager. On top of that, the Daily Mail recently reported that attacking duo Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll both want out of the club, meaning that one of the first challenges for the new man in charge will be to revolutionise his attacking set-up. And one man he could turn to would be Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno.

There have been no reports linking Rodrigo with a move to the London Stadium and it would take a strong financial package to convince the Spanish international to give up Champions League football, but Calciomercato recently claimed that he would cost just £30 million with Tottenham and Everton among the clubs to be hovering.

Having been Valencia’s top scorer this season with 19 goals to date, Rodrigo’s pace and intelligent movement up-front would offer exactly what his side have been crying out for in a one dimensional attack all season long.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Moyes even resorted to fielding Marko Arnautovic as a makeshift centre-forward at time purely for his pace and strength, something that Rodrigo has in abundance. Having shone up against the defences of Barcelona, Real Madrid and many other top European sides in Spain, he could relish the chances to do so away from the Iberian peninsula.

Valencia themselves could be open to a deal if the offer is right, according to MARCA, and it is hard to see why West Ham would be put off. The club have tended to focus on players with experience of British football of late but that has not produced results.

The 27-year-old has shown that his ability to dribble and create chances out of nothing would bring back entertainment to east London, something that has been sorely missing for the Hammers and their fans ever since Dimitri Payet left in January 2017.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

West Ham United

Issa Diop’s presence at West Ham could spark a resurgence in Angelo Ogbonna

The newbie could strike up a strong partnership next term.

Jamie Watts

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West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is excited by the arrival of Toulouse defender Issa Diop, claiming his “pace and power” will suit the Premier League to a tee, in quotes via Sky Sports. But could his arrival also bare significance in sparking another quality defender back to life at in east London?

The record acquisition of the 21-year-old at the London Stadium (£21.9 million, Sky Sports), has been intended to revive a faltering back-line for the foreseeable future under the Chilean boss, but his presence could also elevate the performances of former Juventus regular Angelo Ogbonna.

Photo: Getty Images

The 30-year-old enjoyed a decent spell under David Moyes and ranked first for clearances made, was joint-top in shots blocked, third in aerial duels and third in pass completion with the Hammers back in February. And next season he will be targeting a key role in the defence, alongside the new boy.

Diop’s “pace and power” will be key for the Hammers’ rearguard next term, and alongside Ogbonna both could really flourish. They both employ a similar style of defending, using their physicality to defend on the front foot, and in theory, an understanding should develop relatively quickly.

If all goes well, and everything clicks between the two, West Ham could have a brilliant defence next term, with Ryan Fredericks and Arthur Masuaku providing the width either side of the two imposing centre-backs.

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PSG

West Ham boost: PSG plotting Stanislav Lobotka as Javier Pastore replacement?

The Parisian’s business could suggest West Ham’s saga is coming to an end.

Jamie Watts

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West Ham have potentially recieved a boost in pursuit of marquee target Javier Pastore, as Paris Saint Germain are lining up a move for another play-making midfielder in Celta Vigo’s Stanislav Lobotka, according to reports from Spanish outlet ElDesmarque.

Pellegrini has been tasked with getting West Ham back to playing attacking and progressive football next term, and has identified a midfielder as the key to ushering in his new philosophy. The Chilean boss has named Javier Pastore as the fleet footed technician capable of spearheading this transition, according to reports from Sky Sports.

However, talks have been on-going for weeks, and it appears a move could break down due to disagreements over the player’s weekly-wages. But the club seem determined to get this deal over the line. Roma are also incredibly interested in the player’s services, according to ESPN, so the Hammers will have to move swiftly.

Photo: Getty Images

It now look as though one way or another, Pastore is set to leave the French capital though, with Paris Saint Germain looking to land Lobotka from the La Liga outfit, and the most reliable sources have pointed towards the Premier League thus far.

However, should the Argentine star choose Roma, Pellegrini will likely revive interest in Yaya Toure or Jack Wilshere (Daily Star), with the player announcing his imminent exit from Arsenal.

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Inter

Tottenham should avoid move for Joao Mario after another average World Cup performance

The midfielder’s name has been touted around despite not turning in performances.

Jamie Watts

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Joao Mario was highly thought of last summer, and his loan-move to West Ham from Inter Milan was touted as the potential deal of the summer. However, it quickly became apparent that was not the case after the Portuguese midfielder failed to make an impact in the Premier League.

It has become well known that Inter are trying to land Tottenham‘s star enforcer Mousa Dembele, after the player revealed his concerns over physical conditioning in the cut-throat pace of the Premier League, as he enters the latter years of his career (the Telegraph).

Photo: Getty Images

And Tuttosport claim that Mario is being readied in a make-weight offer for the Belgian’s services. But nothing thus far has suggested the 25-year-old is worth bringing to north London, and certainly not to replace such an immense midfielder.

Today won’t have helped the Italian’s chances of landing Dembele either, as Mario put in a typically tepid performance for Portugal in their 1-0 victory over Morocco. The majority of the team under-performed on the day.

Photo: Getty Images

Perhaps it’s unfair to single out Mario, but being in the shop-window of the World Cup, and with the eyes of a top Premier League club watching, you’d think now would be the time to elevate his performances. But again it wasn’t to be and he looked visibly dejected upon being substituted in the second-half.

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