Written by Adam Leatherbarrow @_LDESIGN
The summer transfer window is soon to be open as July is fast approaching. The club have been linked with a number of players since the close of the season and it appears they are doing it on the quiet. But are the club focusing on the right players? We as fans, all have our transfer opinions so please see below my four transfer targets that will improve the club.
Jack Butland – there is no secret that the club are looking to go and upgrade their goalkeeping options by shifting out either Adrian or Randolph. I would personally go out and make an enquiry for Jack Butland. The England international made the headlines at an early age, being called up to the England squad whilst playing for Birmingham in the Championship. He almost moved to Southampton but the deal stalled and the following season made a move to Stoke City where he was loaned back. The deal was of around £5m, which is peanuts for a player and was bought in a replacement for Begovic and understudy to Shay Given. Since acquiring the No.1 position for the potters, he has been a solid goalkeeper for them. A great communicator with his defence, excellent shot stopping and fantastic distribution on the pitch, he has been a vital part of his team’s progression in the premier league. He has also had advice by Stoke City regular visitor Gordon Banks and you can tell he has helped his game by learning from his experience at club and international level. At 24 years old, he has a very long career ahead of him. He is still learning and is currently England No.2, and it won’t be long until he has knocked Joe Hart of top spot. Everton have made a statement by signing Jordan Pickford, let’s do the same and get Butland.
John Terry – Now hear me out with this… John Terry is a free agent was and still is one of the best central defenders the country has seen in the past 20 years. Although is isn’t good enough for his beloved Chelsea, I wouldn’t decline him playing for West Ham in the upcoming season. With the heavy set of fixtures from November to January, I would seriously consider signing him up for a year with a view to a year extension. At 36 years old, his experience would be highly beneficial for the youth players within the squad and would form a formidable back three with either Reid, Fonte, Ogbonna or Collins. He Still has a couple of years left him in and we can use James Collins’ adaptation to the modern game as a perfect example. Centre Back are not naturally gifted with pace, they are tough tackling, strong in the air playmakers that make it hard for attackers to get past. The key thing about a central defender is getting to the ball first, and the first few yards are in the head. This is where Terry would be perfect in the defence playing in claret and blue. I know he has previous with West Ham fans, but if a good player comes along, it would be mad to not consider them in the team, even if it was a short term solution for the current season.
Cesc Fabregas – The experienced Spaniard has done it all in the game. He’s won domestic titles, Cups, European Cups for Chelsea and Barcelona and international trophies such as the world cup and two European cups for Spain. His is currently the leading assist king in the premier league and 2nd of all time after Ryan Giggs. His abilities have been vital in any team he has played for and helped them control the game to win. Cesc is the same age as Noble and he would fit in nicely in the midfield position, pulling the strings and complementing Lanzini’s creativity. Cesc’s ability would most certainly make any striker at the club score a goal as his awareness and vision to cut open defences are first class. Although he is getting older and his pace has slowed down, he had adapted his game to prolong his career. He looks to be out of favour at Chelsea and I would seriously consider a bid to keep the player in London.
Vincent Aboubakar – The Cameroon striker has been a personal favourite of mine for a few years now, since making waves in the French division for Lorient. His goal scoring ratio, pace, strength and skill emulates a certain well talked about Belgian in the Premier League who has been a thorn against us hammers in the past. The past couple of years, Aboubakar has acquired Portuguese silverware with Porto and Turkish silverware with Besiktas, whilst playing consistent high profile European matches. Whilst becoming a force at domestic level, he has continued his form with his native Cameroon and helped them win the African Cup of Nations. As I said before, he is similar to Lukaku… but a hell of a lot cheaper due to having 1 year remaining on his current deal at parent club FC Porto. What would you rather have? Pay out £90m for a Belgian, or pay out £10-15m for the next best thing? I know what I would rather have and Aboubakar will fit in well at West Ham. Vincent can actually play on the wing as well as a lone striker, which suits Bilic’s style of play. This signing would mean that Ayew and Feghouli would stay and play on the wings with Antonio, which are all fantastic options to have. This would also mean that Sakho would be the player I would sell; I would personally accept no lower than £6m for him.
I honestly feel that a Centre Back is the priority at this stage and like I said, Terry would be a missed opportunity. The club have to forget about the past and focus on today otherwise how can you build for tomorrow? The team need to be more ruthless in games, and take their opportunities. Solidarity at the back is key for West Ham successes this season not only in the league, but in the cup competitions too. To have a deep defensive line in Cresswell, Masukau, Reid, Fonte, Terry, Ogbonna, Collins, Zabaleta and Byram, that would be a tough wall to break through, and if teams do break through, they have to get past excellent shot stoppers in Adrian and Butland. Goals are also a priority and to be fair, we haven’t lacked in goals last season. We managed to score but we just leaked too many goals, 13 goals from Man City, 5 from Watford, 8 from Arsenal, 6 from Liverpool… we are never going to outscore teams if we let in that many goals. To have Carroll, Ayew, Fletcher, Aboubakar with Fabregas, Lanzini, Antonio, Feghouli, Kouyate playing behind them, then goals will come. Chances create goals and since Payet left, we’ve lacked the creativity and Snodgrass was never ever going to replace a player we used to say was better than Zidane.
At least last season the players who were complete disasters were either on a free or on loan, imagine signing Zaza on a permanent deal for £20m+. Clever signings based on our fixtures is how the club need to do business this year, it’s all well and good buying your Girouds, Batshuayis, Traores etc but if the player doesn’t fit the structure of the team with the games in mind then the signings will be massive flops.