ExWHUemployee on the Irons summer plans



ExWHUemployee  has become one of the most respected sources for Hammers news on Twitter. We are delighted to bring his first ever column on ClaretandHugh.

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 I’m  told the club is ready to spend around £20 million in the summer and although recent history shows us as spending big on one player – Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis and Andy Carroll – it may be different this time around.

I have it from a good source that we will be looking to sign younger players  and that there will be a shift from previous policy.

I also expect a number of free transfers and that scouts are currently out looking for some free bargains in the mode of Mo Diame and Adrian.

It is hard to give names at this point as clubs have new deals on the table for players and of course interest is usually high if the play is worth signing.

Full back is an area I am pretty sure we will strengthen.  I think both Guy Demel and George McCartney have been very strong in recent weeks but age and injuries mean that the position does need to be addressed.  

Of course we have the versatile Joey O’Brien too who can cover either position but we need someone who is going to provide us with long term quality in this position.  

Whilst he hasn’t been selected yet due to the form of “Linda”, Pablo Armero is said to have really impressed during his loan spell at the club and provides pace down the left flank, a vital attribute in the modern game.   

Ryan Bertrand is another player who had been on the radar and would also be a valuable signing.   On the right flank we had apparently sent scouts to watch Kyle Naughton in Spurs’ recent European games.  

He was apparently unhappy about not getting regular action for Spurs at right back and would welcome a move, although in recent weeks, including the game against Arsenal he started there.  He is another player who could provide pace down that flank.

We will be offering Winston Reid a new deal which would make him one of the highest paid players at the club alongside Andy Carroll. This is essential for us as a club as we cannot afford to lose Winston who is advancing into his peak years as a player and they should be with us.

With James Tomkins and James Collins impressing in recent weeks we would only need to sign one backup centre back.   Roger Johnson obviously joined on loan until the end of the season but it is unlikely that he will be bought permanently and I can see a young, versatile centre back from abroad being bought in.

In the centre of midfield we are likely to sell Morrison and release Joe Cole and Jack Collison to championship clubs. Antonio Nocerino likely to return to Milan and Alou Diarra looks set for a move back to France.

Matt Taylor could well  be offered a new one year deal but it is clear we will need some further quality in this area.  At times I have felt we really lacked some creative quality in the central of midfield.   

I am unsure at this point who that will be at this stage as they are usually hard to find but of course we have such a player in Ravel Morrison who is impressing on loan at QPR.  Whether his career is over at West Ham is in teh balance but I have been told his recent performances at Loftus Road could change minds at The Boleyn!

We are likely too to sign a new winger.  Sam favours pace down the wings and his system, especially with Andy Carroll in the side, is built around quick attacks wide with decent crosses in for the target man.

Matt Jarvis has shown at times that he is capable of this but has been too inconsistent.  There has been talk of the club being very keen to sign either Ashly Young or Wilfrid Zaha from Manchester United.

I would take either  as I think a change of clubs could reignite their careers.  We were very close to signing Max Gradel in January but I doubt we will revisit this transfer after deciding to pull it at the last minute in January.     

The most important area for is at centre forward as we really don’t want a repeat of this year’s problems.  We all hope Andy Carroll’s “injury” problems are behind him now but there are no guarantees.  We have Carlton, who looks better this year than last, we of course cannot just rely on those two.

It appears that Marco Borriello will be out for a further four to six weeks meaning that he will only be able to figure for the last games of the season.   That will not be enough time for him to really impress the management and I think he is likely to return to Italy.  

Whilst we have sent scouts to see a few target men on the continent including on in Denmark I personally think we need a different type of striker.  Someone surely has to take a gamble on Jordan Rhodes sooner or later. We have in the past and perhaps would consider a move this year.  Another player that we have sent scouts to and had a bid rejected for in January is Ross McCormack.  

Either player would represent different options for us up front and perhaps, here’s hoping, mean that we could alternate our formation and tactics based on the current state of play in games.

I know the club were also very interested in Jelle Vossen who plays for Genk in Belgium and have sent scouts to watch him. He has a great goals record and perhaps could be back on the radar in the summer. 

Jussi is likely to leave the club as well, he hasn’t triggered the amount of games for an automatic renewal in his deal and at his age it will be unlikely that he is offered a new deal.  Whether we will be happy to keep Henderson or Spiegel as back up keepers is another question.   

In the youth team we have Sam Howes who is blossoming and certainly looks  one for the future so it could be that the club opts not to sign another keeper and uses one of those three for back up to Adrian. 

The club have said no decisions will be made on players’ contract renewals or transfers until our Premier League survival is confirmed.   

Once it is I’m sure the club will make a number of signings in the One thing is certain, the club are determined to get the window right and a shift in signing younger players could mean some interesting players coming our way.  

For the time being let’s get that Premier League status secured.  



About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon