So it is that time of year again when the rumours start flying, the new accounts start springing up on social media and the tabloids are dominated by the transfer window.
Traditionally the January window is never as active as people anticipate it to be and is usually desperate teams that face relegation or have an injury crisis that pay over the odds for players they may not have bought had they not been in need of an instant fix.
That said West Ham’s last January window was a hugely successful one, and arguably with the benefit of hindsight, was one of our best ones since the window was first started.
We bought in a solid back-up keeper in Ireland’s Darren Randolph, a player who had obviously already proven himself at the club in his first spell and this thankfully spelt the end of the Roberto nightmare.
We bought in goal scoring winger from the Championship in Jarred Bowen. This transfer came close to not happening with Bowen’s train journey down to the club delayed and made him almost too late to complete the initial paperwork.
Finally, we loaned Tomas Soucek with a permanent signing clause if we stayed up. Thankfully we did and what a player (and scout) he has turned out to be for us.
Already the board has put it out there that we do not have much money and how affected we have been as a result of the pandemic.
David Moyes has also stated that he didn’t think we would have or need much money to improve the squad for this year. With this in mind I do not expect there to be much money spent.
That said we have already signed Danish defender Frederick Alves. Whilst I suspect he is one for the future, the centre back has apparently got a lot of potential.
He joined for approximately £1.2m which could rise significantly if he meets certain milestones. The 21-year-old joined from Silkeborg and has signed until the summer 2024.
The next position of priority is the forward slot and in my opinion this is the right choice. Antonio is phenomenal and I would suggest that if he was three years younger with new hamstrings he would be a certainty for the England squad.
I really like the player but we all know we cannot rely on him to stay fit for the whole season as he has already proved with his recent injury having just come back from the injury spell before that.
Haller is obviously our record signing and someone who most West Ham fans had massive hopes in.
The bottom line is, whatever excuse you want to give him, he has not been performing to anywhere near the level he should be. Therefore, we can all agree the addition of a forward is needed.
I expect us to make a move for Bournemouth’s Joshua King, a forward. We made a move for him in the summer but opted to sign Said Benrahma when it appeared we only had the time to focus on one.
As a result King stayed at the south coast side and has spoken of his depression at not being able to leave.
King is a Moyes player, someone who is strong and works hard. A Norwegian international who started his professional career at Manchester United.
He is out of contract in the summer and therefore will not cost us a lot of money. There are other forwards that we could look at should King not work out.
These include Milik of Napoli, Armstrong of Blackburn and the possible (yet unlikely) move for free agent Graziano Pelle, the former Southampton and Italy International.
The former Chelsea forward Diego Costa, 32, is also on a free transfer and in my opinion would be a great signing and perfect for our system, although there will be so much competition for him.
I think we will also look to get another midfielder in there because Noble and Snodgrass essentially are coming to the end of their careers and we could look to get a younger alternative in.
We do have some good academy players in the form of Conor Coventry and Dan Chesters but I think they could look for one more.
I expect Moyes, Noble and Balbuena to sign new deals in the coming weeks too like Antonio and this will be a big boost to the squad.
In terms of possible player departures. I do not expect Declan Rice to leave in January despite rumours that Chelsea will bid again and this is also massive positive news.
There is a chance Robert Snodgrass could leave as he only has six months left of his contract and some of our academy players like Nathan Holland could also go on loan but I don’t expect many other departures.
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