After a slightly disappointing end to the 2021-22 season, West Ham United (4/1 – Top 6 Finish) have been hard at work in the transfer market this summer and there is huge optimism heading into the upcoming Premier League campaign.
West Ham were right in the mix for a top-four finish last season, something they are 12/1 to achieve this term, but they stumbled at the business stage of the campaign and had to settle for seventh place.
The Hammers appeared to put all their eggs in the Europa League basket to clinch Champions League football, but they were knocked out in the semi-finals by Eintracht Frankfurt and they will now have to get through the play-off round to reach the Europa Conference League group stage.
Despite the under-par end to the season, it was still a step in the right direction for the Irons and they will be hoping to continue their progression this term.
Hopes for the new season
Manager David Moyes has made some shrewd signings this summer, most notably bringing in Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo on a five-year contract, with the option of a further 12 months.
The 23-year-old is claimed to have rejected the advance of Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, AC Milan and two unnamed Premier League clubs to make the switch to the London Stadium, news which must be music to the ears of West Ham supporters.
At 6’5, Scamacca is a towering presence up front and he will be hoping to build on his 16-goal 2021-22 Serie A campaign when testing himself at England’s top-flight level.
Moyes has also managed to strengthen at the back, adding centre-back Nayef Aguerd to his ranks, but the main bit of business that could define the campaign is whether the club can hold onto Declan Rice.
The England international has been attracting interest from Chelsea this summer but, as things stand, he remains a West Ham player and whether he stays or not could determine if West Ham can challenge for a top-six finish or possibly make the top four.
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Arrivals and departures
Gianluca Scamacca – Undisclosed – Sassuolo
Nayef Aguerd – Undisclosed – Stade Rennais
Flynn Downes – £12million – Swansea City
Alphonse Areola – £7.55million – Paris Saint-Germain
Andriy Yarmolenko – Free – Al-Ain FC
Ryan Fredericks – Free – Bournemouth
Mark Noble – Retired
David Martin – Released – Without Club
Alex Kral – End of loan – Spartak Moscow
Rice, who now takes the captain’s armband permanently from the retired Mark Noble, is an integral part of West Ham’s side and they will be doing everything they can to keep hold of him this summer.
The midfielder, who can also fill in at centre-back, reads the game superbly, protects his defence, and is also huge when it comes to set-pieces, both in an attacking and defensive situation.
Not only is the 23-year-old the star man for his club, but there is also the argument to make that he is one of the first names on the team sheet for England (7/1 World Cup 2022) and he will be pivotal in Qatar later this year for World Cup 2022.
Scottish tactician Moyes is quite pragmatic in the way he manages and that has often helped him get the best out of players that are maybe not seen as fantastic by others. His ability to eke out that bit extra from squad members has helped the club build during his tenure.
The 59-year-old often doesn’t get the credit that he deserves and while he can be seen as quite a defensive-minded coach to some, his West Ham side were the seventh-highest scorers in the division last season.
Moyes has been backed in the transfer market and having finally managed to land a striker in Scamacca, who is highly-rated across Europe, there appears to be a chance for the club to kick on under the former Manchester United manager’s guidance.
Last season – 7th.
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