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West Ham’s Championship Transfer Challenge

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In Steidten we trust, yet fishing in the lower leagues is not an easy task! With the importance of increasing a homegrown quota and links to Championship players, is the step up to the Premier League a step too far? Arguably, there are a few success stories for West Ham with both Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen, yet many will remember Ryan Fredericks, who was in the 2018 PFA Team of the Year for Fulham but never really established himself at West Ham.

Josh Cullen showed he could cut the mustard in the lower leagues, including the Championship, yet was overlooked at West Ham. Flynn Downes struggled in his first season to adapt to the rigors of the Premiership, yet in my opinion, was not given a fair crack by Moyes. He has had a great season for Southampton, who clearly feel the player can emulate his success at the top level.

The likes of Alex Scott and Eberechi Eze are among the names to have successfully made the step up to a top-flight team. Scott, who was linked to the Hammers last summer, joined Bournemouth from Bristol City for a fee reported to be £25m. During an injury-ravaged season, the Guernsey-born youngster was praised by Pep Guardiola as an unbelievable talent when the Cherries played Man City and made his England U21 debut in March 2024.

Eze, ironically, was also linked to West Ham during the close season of 2020. The attacking midfielder signed for Crystal Palace in a £17m deal and extended his contract in November 2023, tying himself down to the Eagles until 2027. While the Hammers opted for signing Said Benrahma in a £25m deal with a £5m add-on from Brentford.

The ultimate issue is that finding a striker in the lower leagues is no mean feat! Take Adam Armstrong as an example. He was a prolific goal scorer for Blackburn Rovers before his £15m move to Southampton, yet subsequently only scored four goals in fifty-three appearances over two seasons in the English top league, but rediscovered his form with twenty-four goals out of forty-nine appearances in the Championship.

With an eye firmly on the Championship for British talent, who are West Ham looking at? Jacob Greaves at Hull City has been linked with a £15m move. The 23-year-old centre-back, a product of Hull’s academy, formed a solid partnership with Alfie Jones and made forty-two appearances last season.

In midfield, Callum O’Hare has become a free agent after refusing to sign a new contract at Coventry City. He helped the Sky Blues reach the semi-final of the FA Cup and registered ten goals in all competitions. Though recent reports suggest Leicester City is a more likely destination than West Ham.

It has been speculated that West Ham were in advanced talks regarding the signing of Brazilian Wesley Gassova and have also bid for Jota Silva, yet are weighing up other options.

Guest post by former OLAS writer Matt Kemp 

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  • Danielson79 says:

    I’ve read conflicting stories about Greaves being available on a free and others saying £13-20m depending which story you read. Can you clarify at all?

  • Paul Whitehead says:

    Really annoying website. As soon as you reach the part of the page you want to read, it shoots you back to the top. Then again, and again and again, until you gove up

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