Manuel Pellegrini will give himself the first half of the season to study the returns of Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko with decisions to be made over their long term Hammers futures.
The Irons boss has numerous creative midfield players but is particularly keen to see Lanzini in action after a summer rest following his return from the devastating cruciate injury last season and Yarmolenko too will be carefully watched.
With Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere, Robert Snodgrass, new boy Pablo Fornals, Michail Antonio, Mark Noble, Declan Rice and Grady Diangana available there has to be a possibility Pelle could unload in January such is his near embarrassment of riches.
And according to a top source – discussing the situation on the phone with us today – he is particularly keen to see the progress of Manu and Yarmo.
Lanzini’s advisers are locked into new contract talks with the club and his future could depend on how he performs in the first half of the season with him on a free contract next summer unless a deal is done.
Fornals can play very effectively behind the front men and has a seriously creative and attacking edge to his game similar to Lanzini.
Our source said: “The manager is known to love creative players and is very well off for midfielders. He will be keen to see Manu and Yarmo performing to their best and January could be a interesting month on midfield options.”
Yarmo has suffered two big injuries over the last two season the boss will want to see a full recovery and return to his best for during the first half of the season.
The Ukranian was out for 252 days last season with a ruptured achilles after missing 62 days in 2017/18 with a foot injury.