West Ham defender Emerson believes our Hammers are in stronger shape as we look to push on as a club this season.

Following what was our first defeat of the campaign at the weekend, at the hand of arguably the best team in the world at present, Manchester City, West Ham sit in the top 6 in the Premier League as we look to commence our Europa League venture this week.

Emerson has acknowledged that the previous season domestically was not good enough for our standards now, and believes the club are in a stronger position to challenge this time around, despite the big changes felt this summer.

“We knew we had to work hard to do a better Premier League season this year ,” the defender told the clubs Official Website. “Last season left a lot to be desired considering the quality in the team in terms of international players, players who are very important to their country’s national team, players with lots of experience.

“We’ve been working really hard. Even with Declan’s exit, we’ve brought in players like Ward-Prowse, Álvarez, Kudus, so we’ve really strengthened the team and we have that mentality of starting the season strong. I’m pleased with this season’s start. We need to continue with that desire.”

The in-form left-back also gave special praise to Lucas Paqueta, whom he played alongside at Lyon also – stating that the Brazilian offers so much to the team, and does so with the enjoyment of playing football.

“Paquetá’s always happy!” he added. “He’s a player who creates a lot, but also works very hard for us in defence. His positional awareness is second to none. I had the pleasure of playing with him in Lyon too. He’s a craque (an ace) and he’s always got a smile on his face!”