Carl Jenkinson has been one of our stand-out performers this season.
His pace, dynamism and assists in the claret and blue will surely have caught the eye of England manager Roy Hodgson and a call up to the national side is probably not too far off for the Arsenal loanee. His high octane displays will also naturally have driven up his asking price and, if speculation is to be believed, Arsenal value Jenko at £12million.
There is little doubt Jenkinson has proven his worth this season and that the likes of Carroll and Sakho would miss his delivery from the right-hand side but the powers that be are unlikely to pay such a hefty price, especially when you take into account Aaron Cresswell who has arguably been just as effective and cost far less. We’d all like Jenkinson to stay but if Arsenal’s valuation cannot be budged, we will have to look elsewhere. But in today’s market who could fill Jenko’s boots?
Micah Richards: The Manchester City right back is currently on loan at Fiorentina but has only played in a handful of games for the Serie A side. Richards’ power and pace would be a welcome addition as would the fact that he could double up as a centre half. With Winston Reid’s almost inevitable departure looming, we could definitely do with the extra cover. At 26, Richards is just approaching his peak, he has no future at Man City with Zabaleta and Sagna ahead of him and would be a shrewd signing.
Glen Johnson: Our academy graduate is available on a free transfer this summer. He was only in the West Ham first team for six months before his incredible performances saw him snapped up by Chelsea’s Russian revolution back in 2003. An ultra-attacking right back, his defensive qualities aren’t anything to write home about but a return to his boyhood club may well appeal to Johnson. His £100K plus a week wages and the fact he’s 30, however, wouldn’t exactly be a turn on for Sam and the owners.
Kieran Trippier: He has been a quality right back for years, possess a sweet and cultured right foot and consistently chips in with a healthy amount of assists. At 24, he’s certainly the right age. If Burnley are to slip through the trap-door this season, Trippier would become available during the summer and in all probability, at a knock-down price. In the Clarets promotion season, Trippier chipped in with a whopping 14 assists – he’d be a welcome addition to this squad.
Sam Byram: The young Leeds defender has already been linked to Arsenal and Liverpool and has been likened to Gareth Bale due to his running power and ability to create chances from deep positions. At 21, he’s one for the future as well as the present. With Leeds hovering precariously above the Championship’s relegation zone, they’re unlikely to match his ambitions and certainly won’t be in any position to rebuff interest from Premier League clubs. After the success of Aaron Cresswell, the club may wish to delve into the Championship once more for a promising young full back.
Dani Alves: This a is a bit fanciful but he’s going on a free at the end of the season and I’m sure the two-time Champions League winner would relish the opportunity at plying his trade in east London with the final season at Boleyn and first season at the Olympic Stadium. Alves’s astronomical wages, and variety of more appealing options would present a problem.
At 31, he’d be a short term solution at best but he would represent the kind of marquee signing to galvanise players and fans alike and bring a little more style, flair and samba to this West Ham side as we head to the plush new surroundings of Stratford.