It’s been a rather drab season for a West Ham United side who looked to have finally signed players with some promise. Unfortunately for the Hammers, a mixture of injuries and players failing to gel has seen them battling for a top half finish rather than for a place in Europe.
West Ham never seem to have much luck when it comes to signing players, in particular strikers, and it is something that manager Manuel Pellegrini will be desperate to sort out over the summer. But that isn’t the only issue facing Pellegrini over the summer if West Ham want to be in contention for the Europa League outright odds in the near future.
There have been rumours around the transfer budget Pellegrini will have during the summer break, and for Hammers fans, it’s not good news. Reports have surfaced that the Chilean will be given just £30 million to spend on new players this summer, which with today’s prices, might get you one decent player.
Pellegrini will be allowed to reinvest money from player sales, but there are serious question marks as to whether this will be anywhere near enough to provide Pellegrini with enough to further strengthen the squad.
Selling the deadwood
Part of the problem for the current West Ham side is that it is full of mediocrity. They’ve got some decent players, but these players won’t push them beyond where they currently are. Players like Samir Nasri and Jack Wilshere come with an impressive CV, but have shown very little in the way of quality since turning out in claret and blue.
Players like Robert Snodgrass, Lucas Perez, Pedro Obiang, Javier Hernandez, Arthur Masuaku, Carlos Sanchez, Jordan Hugill and Sam Byram are all likely to be offered out to clubs over the summer, but whether anyone will take them and if so, for how much, creates a lot of uncertainty for the club.
If the club are lucky, they could raise £50 million in player sales, but recent form from the club in the transfer market suggests they are more likely to get just £20 million, making it harder for Pellegrini to build a strong squad.
AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko, formerly of Manchester City, has been linked with a return to the Premier League, and with his contract expiring at the end of the season, West Ham would only need to worry about wages in order to reunite the Bosnian striker with Pellegrini.
Maxi Gomez was linked with a move to the Hammers during the January transfer window, but his £42 million buyout clause will prove to be a stumbling block given the current budget. The Hammers will have to pray that Celta Vigo, currently just three points above the relegation zone, fall into the second division, as his price fall with it. Relegation will see his release clause drop by £20 million and while it still wouldn’t leave much left in the coffers, at least Pellegrini can hope to find a bargain.
West Ham will be desperate not to lose star players Felipe Anderson and Declan Rice, but should they do so, they might receive adequate funds to strengthen the squad as a whole. First and foremost though, the owners need to have a word with themselves and decide if they really are ambitious and want to see the club push on, or whether they’re happy just to linger in mid-table mediocrity.
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