Ever since the summer of 2006, when West Ham pulled off two of the most unlikely signings in Premier League history, Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez, the summer transfer window is full of strange rumours of world class players that are heading to Upton Park, 99.9% of which are complete and utter rubbish.
This summer seems a little different however, there is a real belief from the fans that something special could come from the side next season, exciting names like Andy Carroll, Romelu Lukaku, Massimo Ambrosini, Benat Extebarria and Scott Sinclair are being heavily linked with a move to the mighty Irons! I am rather sceptical of this, due to the fact that over the years we have been linked with huge names that sweep the whole West Ham community off their feet for five minutes before we come back down to earth and realise we don’t have the finances to pull off such a big coup. Some examples of this is the three or four summers in a row that we were set to sign Luca Toni and Adriano when they were at the pinnacle of their careers and instead signed players like Mido, Savio, Ilan and Nolberto Solano.
Also the 2011/12 season in the Championship we were linked with out of favour City striker Carlos Tevez again, and at one point he was odds on to sign with us. However the strangest and most farcical rumour was that of Ronaldinho, the two time World Player of the Year, was linked with a move to East London despite already signing for Atletico Mineiro.
The second season back in the Premier League is always tough, but I would hope to see more of the same again next season, gaining some experienced free agents such as AC Milan legend, Ambrosini along with the already signed Razvan Rat can only be a positive for the club. Some Premier league experience is needed too though, I would like to see our chairmen offering contracts to well-known Premier League defenders such as Richard Dunne, Maynor Figueroa and Danny Simpson, along with loan moves for players like Raheem Sterling or Scott Sinclair to add some much needed pace and youth to proceedings next season.
Another player that will seem like a new signing for the club next year will be the exciting prospect that is Ravel Morrison, after having a great year out on loan at Birmingham he will be vying for a first team spot in the middle next season, I believe a player like Ambrosini could really help Morrison’s development, along with the encouragement from club captain Kevin Nolan who is a key cog in raising the youth players morale. I would also like to see Rob Hall feature a bit more from the bench this coming season too, from what I saw of him at Birmingham he looked like a great prospect, and he has that extra yard of pace that we currently lack down the right side.
I personally cannot see us getting a player of Lukaku’s ability on loan, for a start Lukaku is a better player than Demba Ba and Torres currently, so why would Chelsea not keep him for themselves? I would see this as stroke of luck to be honest, it seems more than likely that we will get Andy Carroll on a permanent basis sooner or later, and any club that played two upfront last season were over run in midfield, this happened to us against Everton at Goodison Park in the second half when we brought on Carlton Cole with Carroll, it just didn’t work.
If all went according to plan my realistic line up for the opening day of next season would be a 4-2-3-1 formation, Jussi in goal, supported at the back by Danny Simpson, Winston Reid, James Collins and Razvan Rat, Ambrosini and Diame sitting in front of the back four, but the Italian would give Diame room to move and make his darting runs forward too , Matt Jarvis on the right, Nolan behind the striker and loanee Scott Sinclair on left, with big Andy Carroll up top. This line up would easily gain us a top half finish and if Big Sam puts some real importance into the cups I can see us having a really good season and even making an appearance at Wembley along the way.
Prediction- 8th place and a League Cup run!
Written by Luke Boarer