Former West Ham United winger Trevor Sinclair has named five Hammers players who he thinks will be key to a successful season in east London.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have lost star attacker Marko Arnautovic to the lures of Chinese football, but have recruited well by bringing in attacking stars Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller. Sinclair is very optimistic.
“I think they’re stronger and it’s not necessarily because of the signings,” he told talkSPORT. “If you look at the players who are coming back – Manuel Lanzini had a season to get over his injury, Jack Wilshere could be really key if he can keep fit. If they can get him out on the pitch, that would be a massive boost. The amount of IQ and experience he’s got at the top level.
“Then you look at the signings with Haller, it looks like they’ve got a focal point up there to replace Marko Arnautovic. Hopefully, he’ll be a bit less troublesome. Pablo Fornals looks like a really gifted, cultured player. He looks after the ball, typically as a Spanish player, he’s got a fantastic technique and he could be a really good addition.
“They’ve got great fire power. Felipe Anderson is a superb player. He looks after the ball, he can beat a man, his pressing ability is great. Sebastien Haller looks exciting and pacy.”
When you lay it out like Sinclair has, here, this certainly does look set to be an exciting season from a West Ham supporter’s point of view. Pellegrini, along with director of football Mario Husillos, has developed an incredibly intriguing squad, and it will be fascinating to see how they fare in the Premier League on a weekly basis. Will they be solid enough at the back? Is there enough strength in depth up front? Are they too reliant on Declan Rice? These are the questions that will be answered in the coming months, while the fact that Sinclair didn’t even mentioned Rice says so much about the talent on display at the London Stadium these days. As Sinclair says, if they can keep Wilshere fit that will be key. He is a hugely classy operator in the centre of midfield, a highly technical player who would appear to be the perfect foil for the domineering Rice. Then there’s Lanzini who should be back to his best after injury and Anderson who will likely be better for a season in English football. Plus, the two new boys, Fornals and Haller. Exciting times!