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Joe Hart or Bust

After this season, West Ham should only be pursuing sure things in the transfer window.

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Germany v England - International Friendly Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

With four games, and just a little more than a month before the summer transfer window opens, the rumors are flying. One rumor in particular is that West Ham United are keeping tabs on League One goalkeeper Alex Cairns. With the not-so-great performances from Adrián and Darren Randolph this season, to find out that West Ham are scouting goalkeepers comes as no surprise. The problem with this rumor is that they’re scouting a 24-year-old League One keeper who is going to be no better than what West Ham have got on the team sheet right now.

With Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola preparing to listen to offers for Hart as low as £10m this summer, it’s no surprise that West Ham have been rumored to be in on the 30-year-old. The £10m cut-price deal has been spoken of for foreign clubs, but as West Ham aren’t much of a threat to Man City, they could very well scoop up Hart for £10-15m. Joe Hart commands a weekly wage of £100k, but, back in January, the board gave that the greenlight, so we can’t really see what would have changed from then to now.

Obviously, this board is bad with marquee signings. Really, they’re not great with any kind of signing. Dimitri Payet becoming the player that he was for West Ham had nothing to do with the board. They knew he was a skilled player and they knew they could sign him for £10m, so they did. Other than that, it was pure luck. Foreign players who have never played a game in the Premier League don’t normally make the impact that Payet did. Look at Paul Pogba for an example of someone who was tearing it up in Italy and then was unable to make as much of an impact in the EPL. Pogba is a very talented player, and he could still come into his own in the Premier League, but for £89.3m, we think Manchester United were expecting a bit more than a paltry four goals and three assists on the season.

Joe Hart is a goalkeeper who we know is proven in the Premier League. West Ham shouldn’t be chasing kids like Alex Cairns right now, expecting a League One keeper to be the remedy for their broken defense. After this horrendous season of broken promises and false hope, that’s an awful decision. If the owners want to make this team as good as they’ve stated before, then they should put their money where their mouths are (almost literally), and spend what’s necessary to supplement the squad. There are plenty of good players, but it’s time to spend money on an actual right-back, a 20-goal-a-season striker, and, possibly most importantly, a goalkeeper who won’t choke away goals week in and week out.

If the board want to buy Alex Cairns and Joe Hart, sure. It’s not a bad idea to get a young guy who can play backup to one of the best keepers in the game and learn from him. Sell Andy Carroll, sell Adrián and Randolph, buy Joe Hart and Alex Cairns, and then there will still be money left over from those sales to pick up a solid right-back with no net loss. Use the rest of the money allotted for the transfer window to get a striker who won’t disappoint the fans every week. Preferably someone with Premier League experience who knows how to score a goal. Anyone but Calleri. Anyone but Sakho. And, unfortunately, anyone but Andy Carroll. We love him, but he’s missed nearly as many games this season as he’s played. It’s time for West Ham to move on from Andy Carroll, and to start making the transition to being the winning club that the owners promised. If Scott Hogan was going for £15m, that means Andy Carroll will command a fee of at least £20-25m, and he should be sold to accommodate spending on a player like Joe Hart. Adrián and Randolph combined could net around £10m.

That’s £30-35m more than West Ham would have started the summer with, and it allows them to spend £20m on Joe Hart and Alex Cairns. That leaves £10-15m to buy a very good starting right-back. After the money from selling Adrián, Randolph, and Carroll is spent, use whatever money was previously set aside for the summer window to sign a striker. Please, for the love of everything, sign a real, dependable striker. Also sign a real, dependable right-back. Most importantly, sign Joe Hart, who will do more for the squad than just save (a lot of) goals. Hart is a leader, and he’s played for the England international squad nearly his entire career. Bringing a player like Joe Hart will do wonders for this West Ham squad. Furthermore, bringing a player like Joe Hart on for £15m shouldn’t even be a question. Joe Hart wants to move to London. West Ham are in London. It’s a match made in London. Get it done.