Claret&Hugh: ‘You look at our midfield now and it shows how far we’ve come’

It's an exciting time to be a Hammer as Phillips and Co can take us to a higher level

David Moyes (West Ham manager) and James Ward-Prowse (WHU) at the West Ham United v Manchester City EPL match, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th September, 2023.

Kalvin Phillips is the top signing of the winter window so far. And beyond that how refreshing to hear the words of the country’s best manager in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola, in explaining how he felt responsible for denying him his chance at Manchester City.

He spoke of the guy as being a magnificent player and person before revealing his personal disappointment that he hadn’t been able to give him his chances. Good stuff Pep. With the likes of Newcastle, Juventus and Barcelona looking to sign the defensive midfielder, it was a real coup by Moyes and company to land the player and it has drawn more headlines than any other move in this winter window so far.

Now, with the likes him, JWP, Alvarez, Bowen, Paqueta and Kudus we have the look of a big club that really should be going places. I certainly can’t remember a time in the many years I have been supporting this club where so many quality players have been ready to join us.

And that could see others looking at this club with different eyes than in the past. The club’s ambition will be tested, of course, when deciding whether Phillips will break the pay ceiling, a decision which may be a lot easier to make if he can help keep us in Europe.

It seems to me that in landing a top quality player this winter, West Ham finds itself at a critical time in its development. So many good things are happening but as is the case on the pitch, the powers-that-be need to ensure the game they are involved in off it is managed well.

Exciting times to be a Hammer. Phillips and Co can take us to a higher level. The guy himself has a lot to prove after his Manchester City exile and that’s good news for the Hammers but whether he returns on a permanent deal now looks dodgy as there is no such clause in the deal.

Initially we believe there may have been but it has been removed as the club made it clear to Claret and Hugh that there was little chance of us paying him what he is likely to want and thus break our pay ceiling.

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