Written by Darren O’Toole @dynamicfitPT
Mark Noble’s call to action was on the lines of: ‘support us to get enough points, and then we’ll try to sort it all out in the summer’, well the summer is almost here and with an early close to the transfer window, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to sort the mess out that our squad has become.
Loads of people are demanding a big spend. Minimum of £60-100 million. We know our Board – the likelihood of this happening is pretty much zilch – but do we have to spend that much? I’ve put together a potential list of summer acquisitions and sales which produce a typical Gold/Sullivan profitable summer but which may produce a winning team.
These, I believe, except maybe one, are realistic signings for West Ham based on media reports and level of player we would expect to go after.
- Sam Johnstone – (£5m) We need to develop a mix of two types of player – experienced players who can take us on a level and younger players who have something to prove. Johnstone is in the later. Good goalkeeper with potential to be very good. A move to us could shift his English aspirations up a gear especially if Butland doesn’t get a move back to the Premier League.
- Ryan Fredericks – (Bosman) though this may be unlikely if Fulham make the Premier League, this guy would be a fantastic addition. Pace to burn (sorry Zaba but that is a major requirement) and a good final ball, what we lose in his defensive knowhow we gain in a real attacking threat.
- Leander Dendoncker – (£22m) A defensive midfielder – I can’t say I’ve seen him play, but there seems enough interest to suggest he has good potential and will be another younger player looking to prove himself in the Premier League. Oh, and, did I mention he’s a defensive midfielder…..not sure if anyone has noticed but we need one of them….
- Jack Whilshere – (Bosman) ok, ok, maybe unlikely, but a guy can dream. West Ham fan – actually I think it’s more his old man, but nonetheless, if we could snap Jack up it’d be a game changer for our midfield. Sideways passing replaced with forward ones.
- Marouane Felliani – (Bosman) Putting on my tin hat here. People would hate this signing….but, for us, I suspect he’d be a decent addition. Physical presence, can be box-to-box if allowed, an option up front as well as midfield and my opinion, an upgrade on the Cheikou Kouyate we have seen this season.
- Dominik Solanke / Tammy Abraham (loan) – one of these two young strikers will be available for loan I’d imagine. It wouldn’t be a Gold/Sully window without a loan now would it?! They’ll both be looking for game time – a year older than this season and both would have benefitted from their experience gained. As options off the bench, I’d suggest they’d be worth a punt.
- Jonny Evans – (£3m) yes he may have taken West Brom down and also taken a taxi to boot, but reports suggesting £3m for a player touted for £20m last summer seems too good a bargain to turn down
Total fee (excluding sign on and loan fee: £30m)
£30m spent, so Gold and Sully would want to make a bit of their cash back, so where could they do it? Here are my (undoubtedly unpopular) options:
- Chicharito – £17m let me caveat this from the start and say, I’d hate to see this, but it will and possibly needs to happen. Moyes doesn’t fancy him. If he stays, Moyes won’t play him. Therefore, like with Sakho, we could keep someone who is unhappy and won’t feature, or we sell them on. In those situations, selling is usually best. Being a year older than last year, but with the market shifting, I’d be looking for the same fee.
- Cheikh Kouyate – £15m. I like Cheikh, but he’s not the player he was a few years ago. Box to box was his strength but if our tactics don’t allow that freedom then the reality is that his passing isn’t good enough for a playmaker and his defensive awareness isn’t enough for a holding midfielder.
- Sam Byram – £6m – With Fredericks coming in, Sam would become a third choice right back, plus with his injury record, I think we’d be best served selling him to an ambitious Championship team or a lower level Premier league one.
- Jordan Hughill £8m – this seems a little unfair but the manager who bought him doesn’t fancy him. Sums it up really. Again, a club looking for a promotion push from the Championship may take the bait on this one.
Total recouped: £46m
So the ‘net spend’ would not be £60-100 million. In fact, probably even with loan fees and signing on fees, we’d be in profit. Add the wages saving on Joe Hart, Joao Mario and James Collins (sad, but would he want to be 5th choice centre back?) leaving and the wages wouldn’t be increased to an unsustainable level.
Would we have a stronger team and squad? I believe massively so. Would we be happy? Well it depends on whether we are treating this summer as an analysis on whether we make good signings or whether we spend money. We could spend £100m on tripe. For me, money isn’t key this summer, getting it right is.