Julen Lopetegui

Lopetegui’s West Ham Purge

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News that Michail Antonio was the subject of transfer interest from Nottingham Forest yesterday came alongside a comment which appears to have gone under the radar.

We were informed that new Hammers head coach Julen Lopetegui is having something of a clear-out at West Ham, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard it mentioned either.

West Ham’s reported transfer fund is understood to be average at best, which goes some way to supporting the theory that players will have to be sold. However, trying to guess which of the current West Ham squad will be surplus to requirements for Lopetegui is not so easy.

Antonio’s name being mentioned was a puzzling one indeed because the new Hammers boss was understood to have attempted to sign the player while he was manager at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

West Ham were understood to have offered a player in part exchange in our attempts to sign Wolves defender Max Kilman, but it is unclear precisely who that mystery player was.

Reading between the lines, it’s probably safe to assume that Danny Ings is going to be jettisoned, and we know that Ben Johnson is soon to leave.

J-Lo’s defensive restructure

Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd are both available for transfer, but I’m not yet convinced the latter will happen. Flynn Downes is somebody who could possibly be of interest to Lopetegui, but the lure of guaranteed first-team football at Southampton will be hard to resist.

Maxwel Cornet is the forgotten man of West Ham, but he probably deserves a chance, and his flexibility may well be an asset to the new gaffers footballing ethos.

Vladimir Coufal would probably have to remain due to the paucity of options at right back, but his international teammate is more difficult to call. Tomas Soucek has been an excellent servant to West Ham, and his attitude, fighting spirit, and commitment cannot be questioned.

Soucek-West Ham-Lopetegui

Tomas Soucek may not be Lopetegui’s cup of tea

Unfortunately, everything we hear about our Spanish head coach indicates that he prefers technical footballers who are comfortable in possession. Despite all of Soucek’s numerous qualities, even his biggest fan would not call him a playmaker. Therefore, I believe he could be one of the players highlighted in this West Ham purge.
The truth is that nobody really knows apart from the manager himself and possibly director of football Tim Steidten. But what is certain is that we have a summer of massive upheaval ahead of us.

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  • Joseph says:

    July 1st when player contracts are up at various clubs and targets that clubs want start getting proper bids in with preseason in mind so to that end i will be looking with much interest to see what Tim has lined up for us as a lot needs to be done in a short space of time.

  • kcockayne says:

    Can we afford to get rid of these players ? Having not, as yet, signed any “first team players” the need for multiple signings is greatly increased. Just who will we be left with eg Coufal & Cresswell seem to be the only defenders who have not been mentioned as possible departures ! Who does that leave us with if the others all go ? We started off needing about 4 new defenders to add to the present ones; if they go, I reckon that we will need 6 new recruits, in all. And, that is without mentioning the forwards & midfielders – all of whom you have mentioned as likely leavers. All except Bowen !
    I am VERY worried. Hope the team management know what they are doing; & succeed in signing some – a lot – of capable players !

  • kcockayne says:

    I left a comment, but it does not seem to have come through – so I will précis it. In your articles you have speculated that almost all of our players could/would be leaving – all except Areola, Fabianski & Bowen. If you are anywhere near correct, exactly who will that leave us with ? – especially as we have, as yet, to persuade anyone of note (despite the myriad of names quoted) to sign for us. I feel that these are, potentially, very worrying times for West Ham; & just hope that the team management knows what it is doing. Otherwise, those who call for opportunities to be given to the youth players may well have their wishes granted !

  • Charlie Farley says:

    Hmmm. It’s all guesswork isn’t it? Nobody really knows who’s coming in or going out and for how much. Although Ben Johnson seems to on his way – but even then talk of him ‘having a medical’ at Ipswich could be wide of the mark, if talks are still being held.
    If there genuinely is a clear out by West Ham, I’d expect Zouma, Aguerd, Ings, Cornet, Antonio, and the useless Downes to follow Johnson out of the door before long.

  • Kip says:

    We already needed players ..by getting rid of the players what you say ..we would need to buy at very least 10 players..it takes us months to even make a bid after weeks of talking about players/our so called targets ..so unless the season starts in 2 years how on earth can they do this …especially with how just utterly awful and unprofessional we are at transfer buisness…can’t see it ..well end up with roughly the same squad at last year with maybe 2 /3 new faces …we.are just way way to slow with everything to do with it

  • Gordon says:

    Thankyou fellow Hammers for your posts, they are incredibly important to those of us who now live abroad, ( California ). It doesn’t matter to me if I agree with you or not, but your enthusiasm is infectious.
    I have learnt over the years not to believe a single word that the press prints, in particular, during the “silly” season. I think that we did very well last closed season and a repeat of that will be fine. Relax. I have faith in Tim and I am looking foreword to our new manager being given a chance to prove himself.


  • Mibatch says:

    Well done Gordon, I have been following WH for seven decades, yes I am THAT old, and i think this is the most exciting transfer break ever. Sure we need a number of players but there is still a long period open. Of course there is all the rubbish about WH trying to buy about 80 players at the last count. Who knows what the transfer budget is really but i am sure that Tim and JoLo know what they want to do and wouldn’t be there if the money wasn’t avaiable for their signings. Let us all take this unique opportunity to get behind the new football mangement (all beit under Sullivan iron fist) and hopefully look forward to a better season than the last one. COYH

  • John, expat Thailand says:

    I was full of hope once Moyes went. It seemed like, we had lots of money in the kitty from u used Rice money, unused striker money plus, TV and Europa money, January sales. It seems we’re having a massive clear out of deadwood in an already thin squad. So it’s almost building a brand new squad. In itself it’s fine. But then to be told we’re skint is mindless. Where’s the money gone or is this, a money grab before the club is sold? I thought Tim Steidten would have signed half a dozen players by now but instead we’ve got an 18 year old kid for the future and a number 3 goalkeeper. What will this look like at the stet if the season and will we actually have new players, if any, ready for pre season. I’m very worried.

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