With the transfer window about to slam shut (it never gently closes) it’s decision time for the West Ham board and their popular manager Slaven Bilic. Both Bilic and the West Ham Chairman David Sullivan have made no secret of their dislike of the January window. But it’s been all go at the London Stadium this January.
Of course, part of that was enforced. Payet’s mighty blow forcing the issue. He’s gone now and that’s that, best not mention his name around here.
So far in this window, in Have come 33-year-old central defender Jose Fonte from Southampton for £8m, and left footed right winger Robert Snodgrass from Hull for about £10m.
Out has gone miss-signing of the summer Simone Zaza. That’s a fair amount of business so far for a club that doesn’t like the January window.
Most supporters feel that the main areas of weakness have not been addressed. And with the Payet money burning a hole in the Hammers pocket our business may not be over yet.
Here are 5 potential moves to keep an eye on as the deadline approaches.
5. Harry Maguire
The 23-year-old Hull City central defender is reported to be keen on moving to West Ham. He is young, strong and a good player. I don’t think the board will sanction a big move for Maguire as West Ham have some depth in his position. But with only 18 months left on his contract, they may smell a bargain.
4. Scott Hogan
This has dragged on for the entire window. In fact, there could be some justification in accusing West Ham of unsettling the player in much the same way as Marseille riled Payet.
There is much talk of Bilic being unsure about Hogan, especially with his injury record. It may just be that the Hammers were waiting for the Payet money to be confirmed. Either way, I’m beginning to doubt this one will happen. It looks like Calleri is staying now, and with Sakho returning in March we may have enough up front for Bilic this season.
3. Ashley Fletcher
The noises I am hearing from Leeds are ever more confident on young Fletcher joining them on loan for the second half of the season. Some even think that Leeds will sign Fletcher permanently. Fletcher certainly seems doomed to play the role of bit part player this season if he stays at West Ham. He has looked good in the few glimpses we have had of him, but maybe not quite good enough. If Hogan does arrive, Fletcher will almost certainly depart. I have a feeling he will playing for Leeds either way. Leeds seem very confident on this one.
2. Reece Oxford
Another Hammer who could be going out on loan is the exciting defender Reece Oxford. Having signed a long-term contract with the Hammers on his birthday and committing his future to the club, he has found first team opportunities non-existent this season. Rangers and Nottingham Forest are keen. Given the absolute shambles that Forest have become lately, I can only see Reece heading to Scotland. It’s not a quality league, but it would still be valuable experience.
1. Kevin Malcuit
No, I had never heard of him either. Malcuit is a versatile Saint Etienne player. He can play up front, on the wing but usually plays, and this is crucial, at right back. West Ham have been desperately short of a right back for nearly two seasons. Sam Byram has shown signs that he may be able to fill that void, but he is also injury prone. And we should really have two good players for that position anyway. I suspect that Malcuit’s versatility as attractive as well. He is skilful and pacey but may need time to adjust to the Premier League. This has got chief Hammer’s talent spotter Tony Henry’s finger prints all over it. West Ham have reportedly already offered £8m. If so, they are serious and this could happen.