Now that West Ham are safe, supporters can start to look forward to a summer of transfer rumours, speculation and debate.
The biggest debates always stem from the transfers in and out of the club. Will the club keep hold of Andy Carroll? Will we sell any of our decent players? Will the supporters be happy? Probably not. Allardyce has already said that he will need to look out for some bargains, I assume that’s if we sign Carroll for a large fee. I think it’s fair to say that we need improvement in every area. However, who are the potential targets for Sam Allardyce?
Here are a few bargain players to whet your appetite before the summer of speculation begins.
Scott Sinclair (Man City)
I was quite surprised when Scott Sinclair left Swansea last summer, and for only a small fee (around £6m). Sinclair had a couple of good solid seasons at Swansea, building a reputation as a tricky, fast winger who could weigh in with a goal or two. However, his move to Man City seems to have halted his development, and after only making a handful of appearances, could well be looking to re-ignite his career. He started off at Chelsea so London is a familiar place for him. West Ham United could be the ideal location for him.
Maynor Figueroa (Wigan)
Figueroa has been a constant fixture in the Wigan team for the last few seasons. A solid left back who has scored a few wonder goals as well, he is a proven Premier League performer. I think this is key to moving our team on next season, we need players who know the Premier League and don’t need a settling in period. Figueroa is also available on a free transfer and there is no doubt that West Ham would be able to compete with Wigan in the wages department. Figueroa would be my choice as the new left back at Upton Park next season.
James McCarthy (Wigan)
With Wigan looking doomed to relegation (finally), the summer would be a good chance to pick off some of their young talent. McCarthy and his partner in crime McCarthur have both been impressive in Wigan’s poor season, but McCarthy shades it for me. McCarthy has a good engine, good technique, excellent passing ability and pops up with a few goals as well. McCarthy will not want to play in the Championship next season but I am sure there will be other teams interested in him too.
Joey Barton (QPR)
QPR will be hoping to get rid of Joey Barton during the summer. Barton is no stranger to controversy; however, there is no doubting his footballing ability. Remember when nobody would touch Paolo Di Canio? Look how that turned out. And Allardyce is the ideal manager to be able to keep a lid on him too. He is a loose canon but as a likely free transfer, he could be a good solid player to add competition in the centre of midfield. He has played 21 games for Marseille this season and he also knows Nolan and Carroll from his Newcastle days. Is he worth the risk? I think he might be.
Peter Odemwingie (WBA)
Another who has been in the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons, especially in January when he turned up at QPR’s training ground in order to try and force a move through to them. Since then, Odemwingie has continued his rift with Steve Clarke and the club. He would be another bargain and can play the wide positions where we desperately need to strengthen but can also play through the middle should Allardyce ever want to play two up front (I doubt it!). Again, there is no doubting Odemwingies ability, he has done well in his time at WBA. But with his temperament in question, is he another bargain to be had?
Now, of course, my last two choices could prove quite controversial but if anyone can put them in their place and get them playing football, I believe Big Sam can.