Thursday, June 29

Daily WHUFC News - 29th June 2017

PL2 pre-season: The lowdown

West Ham United's Premier League 2 side face a packed pre-season as they prepare for their 2017/18 campaign in Premier League 2 Division 1. After winning promotion in a dramatic Play-Off game at Newcastle United in May, Terry Westley's side will fine-tune their preparations with a series of games in England and overseas.

We take a look at the schedule here


Barnet v West Ham United PL2
Saturday 15 July, 3pm

Terry Westley's team kick-off pre-season with a trip to north London, where they will face League 2 side Barnet. The Bees now play at the Hive, which has been their home since leaving Underhill in 2013. Barnet, who are under the management of 32-year-old Rossi Eames, came 15th in League 2 last year and they have made the transition to the EFL well since winning promotion back there in 2015. Ticket information for this fixture will be available soon.

Colchester United v West Ham United PL2
Tuesday 18 July, 7.45pm

Three days later it's a short hop up the A12 and a visit to Colchester United, also of League 2. The U's Weston Homes Community Stadium was opened in 2008 and John McGreal's team only just missed out on the Play-Offs last term, finishing eighth, a point away from the end-of-season shootout. Colchester will fancy their chances of going one better this season, and are sure to provide the Hammers' young professionals with a stern test.

Dagenham & Redbridge

Dagenham & Redbridge v West Ham United PL2
Saturday 22 July, 3pm

The Hammers' third pre-season fixture is one back on familiar ground, as they take on Dagenham & Redbridge - their host club for PL2 games. Dagenham were back in the National League last term, and almost secured an immediate return to the Football League, only losing out in the Play-Off semis to the eventual promoted team Forest Green Rovers. With veteran manager John Still at the helm, few would bet against the Daggers being in the promotion shake-up once again.

Tour to Slovakia, games v Spartak Trnava & FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce

The Hammers then depart for Slovakia, where they will take on top flight sides Spartak Trnava and FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce​​​​​​​. Trnava are three-time runners-up in the Slovak league and finished sixth last term. They have also appeared in European competition for the last three seasons, reaching the third qualifying round of the Europa League last term. FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce​​​​ were tenth last term and have won the domestic cup once, in 2007.

​​​​​​​Billericay Town v West Ham United PL2
Tuesday 8 August, 7.45pm

When the Hammers head back to these shores, they take on Isthmian Premier League side Billericay Town. Billericay have been making waves in the non-league scene with significant investment under owner and manager Glenn Tamplin, with Paul Konchesky and Jamie O'Hara high-profile playing arrivals. They play at New Lodge and will provide Westley's team with their final tune-up before the season gets underway.

Aaron Cresswell excited by Zabaleta 'quality and experience'

Aaron Cresswell believes Pablo Zabaleta's experience and quality will have a hugely positive impact on West Ham United. The Hammers left-back is looking forward to sharing a dressing room, training ground and pitch with the experienced Argentinian, who will formally complete his move to east London from Manchester City on Saturday. Cresswell revealed he had received a glowing report on the new No5 from Joe Hart, who won two Premier League titles alongside Zabaleta at the Etihad Stadium, while on England duty. "Watching him throughout his time with Manchester City, which was nearly a decade, the things Pablo Zabaleta did for that club were fantastic, winning Premier League titles cups and the like," Creswell observed. "He will now bring those qualities, his loyalty and experience to West Ham and his presence will only help us, not only his fellow defenders but the whole team. "I spoke to Joe Hart while I was away with England and Joe could not have spoken any higher of him, saying he is a great teammate, a great lad and top professional. "His quality is there for all to see, so he is a great addition to the squad. Pablo will not only make his presence felt on the pitch, but his experience will rub off on the young lads around the training ground."

Cresswell also reflected positively on his recent international experience, which saw him win a second senior cap in a friendly with France in Paris. The 27-year-old made his Three Lions debut against Spain at Wembley last November, just weeks after returning from a serious knee injury, having been called up as a replacement for injured Leicester City star Danny Drinkwater. This time around, Cresswell was named in Gareth Southgate's original squad and he is hoping a productive pre-season and strong start to the new Premier League campaign will see him keep his place for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Slovakia in September. "Obviously it was another proud moment for me and my family to get another cap for England," confirmed the No3, who will return for pre-season training on 10 July after being given a few extra days to recharge his batteries by manager Slaven Bilic. "I enjoyed being part of the squad again and everything that goes with it. "Now, I want to hit the ground running when I come back for pre-season training, because I want to keep my place in the squad and add to my tally of caps in the future. "Last year, I sprained my medial knee ligament in pre-season and was out for three months, which was not a great start, but I then got a shock call-up after only three games as an injury replacement and make my debut against Spain back in November, which was a very proud moment.
"To then get called up again this summer was fantastic and it was great to double my tally in France earlier this month. I'm now looking forward to getting back in for pre-season and putting the hard yards in again."

Three-time Hammer of the Year Scott Parker announces retirement

Three-time Hammer of the Year Scott Parker has thanked West Ham United and the Claret and Blue Army after announcing his retirement from professional football. The England international midfielder enjoyed four outstanding seasons in east London between 2007-11, making 129 appearances, scoring 12 goals and being named Footballer of the Year in 2011. Parker hung up his boots at the age of 36, ending a career that spanned 20 seasons, 572 senior games for West Ham, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Newcastle United Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham, 18 England caps and countless crunching tackles and lung-bursting runs. "I have enjoyed so many incredible moments during my career," Parker wrote in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. "From making my first team debut at Charlton, to playing regularly in the Premier League, playing in the Champions League to then playing in a major tournament for England, as well as ultimately fulfilling a lifelong dream by captaining my country. There are just too many highlights to mention. "I would like to thank everyone at Charlton Athletic, Norwich City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham for the unbelievable support that I've been shown throughout my time at each and every one of the club's I've been proud to represent. "Thank you to the fans of all of the clubs that I've been lucky enough to play for. Your support has meant everything to me and you've supported me throughout all of the ups and downs during my career. I hope I was able to repay the faith shown in me by my commitment and performances on the pitch. "I would like to thank all of my teammates over the course of my career as well as the coaches and managers that I've played under. I've learnt a huge amount from everyone that I've worked with that I have no doubt will hugely benefit me in my next career chapter. "When was a boy I dreamt of becoming a professional football player and I feel very honoured to have accomplished my dream. I have always tried to set high standards on and off the pitch. I hope most of all throughout my career I have been a good role model not only to my sons but also to all of my teammates who played with me as well as all those who supported me."

A central midfielder with boundless energy, unrivalled commitment and inspirational leadership qualities, Parker joined West Ham from Newcastle United for £7m in June 2007. Over the next four seasons, he produced arguably the best football of his illustrious career, first under Gianfranco Zola and then during an otherwise disappointing 2010/11 campaign, when his seven goals and sensational personal performances were unable to save the Club from relegation. Parker was voted Hammer of the Year for the first time in 2009, before winning the accolade again in 2010 and 2011, while his form also earned a recall to the senior England squad after a four-and-a-half year absence. Everyone at West Ham United would like to thank Scott for his efforts, for the unforgettable memories he gave us, and wish him well in his retirement and whatever he chooses to do next.

Written by Max Reader @reader_max

Robert Snodgrass was a valuable player at Hull, scoring and regularly getting assists for team mates, at one point looked like an exceptional signing in January. Since then Snodgrass has divided opinion amongst the fans, same say he should go where as others want him to have a chance. I feel we should give Robert Snodgrass a chance especially seeing that we forked out £10.2 million on him we must give him until January with the quality he possesses of which we are yet to see.

Over feghouli I feel Snodgrass should stay as he has a difference in playing style compared to other wingers or attacking midfielders within the squad. Snodgrass offers qualities of which some players do not have and qualities we can use to our advantage. Snodgrass is a dead ball specialist who can work well with players such as Carroll or the frequently linked Olivier Giroud. Also, Snodgrass even with a partial lack of pace is a hard worker on the pitch something of which is needed especially when seeing out games and defending from the front. I'm not saying Snodgrass should be a starter but with these qualities in his game he is an excellent player to have in around the squad and the first team. Given time we could have the same Snodgrass that was excellent for Hull not so long ago and in Snodgrass's words players do not turn bad overnight.

With players, up for sale within the current squad of players I feel feghouli should be the one to leave not Snodgrass. Feghouli has been at West Ham for near enough a year now and has plenty of chances to impact the squad. Even with a couple of goals last season I feel Feghouli is a player we can sell to our advantage rather than Snodgrass for more money especially with the inflation within the current transfer market. Feghouli is younger and lacks as much premier league experience compared to Snodgrass. Feghouli is much easier to replace with a younger signing who could be a sign of improvement by a large margin the likes of both Thorgan Hazard and Adama traore should be signed as young creative replacements.

Another point for keeping Snodgrass is that he is a great personality to have within the squad. He seems to be great mates with the likes of Collins, Carroll and Noble of whom are all big character in the dressing room as well as his experience to benefit younger members of the team. Being Scottish is another beneficial factor within the means of British talent within the squad and premier league rules set.

Finally, I hope you would all agree that Snodgrass with the backing of supporters can play back to his best in the West Ham shirt and provide goals and assists to the team. With a number of signings, I hope this can be another great year for West Ham. Names linked like Giroud, Batshauyi, Hazard, Troare, Ozyakup or lemina to replace Nordtivet and maybe a keeper will be key in allowing players to develop with factors such as squad depth with quality players will help the squad achieve more in various competitions. Back the team this season and we can aim to achieve our hopes for the season! Transfers may be frustrating now but give it time as the only people who are able to conclude business would be our owners, judge after the window has closed and more importantly there is a lot of time left!

Written by Max Reader

Triple Hammer of the Year hangs up his boots
Filed: Wednesday, 28th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammer of the Year Scott Parker has announced his retirement from football. The 36-year-old midfielder confirmed this morning (Wednesday) that he will be hanging up his boots following a professional career that spanned some 20 years. Parker, who was born in Lambeth began his career at Charlton, where he became a first team regular in 2000 following a spell on loan at Norwich City. In 2004 - and much to the annoyance of Addicks Alan Curbishley, who accused Parker of poor conduct - he signed a four-year contract with Chelsea, after the two clubs had agreed a fee in the region of £10million. However his spell at Stamford Bridge was to prove short-lived and unhappy, with a metatarsal injury playing a major role in Parker making just four appearances for Chelsea's first team. Just a year after joining the Blues, Parker was on his way to Newcastle United in a £6.5million deal - although his first season at St James' Park was also blighted by injury with a bout of glandular fever ending his season prematurely in March - thus ruling him out of the 2006 World Cup Finals.

His second season was far more productive and he was named club captain by Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder. But he failed to fully settle on Tyneside and in June 2007 was brought back to London by West Ham's ambitious new Icelandic owners, in a £7million deal. Injury prevented Parker from making his debut for the Hammers until the end of September, and he was sidelined again after making his Premier League debut against Arsenal. However he recovered sufficiently to be voted Signing of the Season by KUMB readers and the KUMB Writers' Player of the Year. Parker was named as Hammer of the Year and KUMB Player of the Year for the first time at the end of the 2008/09 season - an achievement he went on to emulate in 2009/10 and 2010/11, thus becoming the first player to win the award three times consecutively.

However relegation at the end of that season was the beginning of the end for Parker at West Ham. After just four games in the Championship - during which he was accused of not giving 100 per cent, in much the same way as Curbishley had claimed prior to his Chelsea move - he joined Tottenham in deal worth in the region of £5million. Parker spent the next two season at White Hart Lane before moving to Fulham, with whom he ended his career. KUMB would like to wish Scott the very best for his impending retirement.

New deals for ex-Hammers
Filed: Wednesday, 28th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

Two former West Ham youngsters have secured contracts with Football League clubs. Blair Turgott, who was released by West Ham in 2015 has joined League Two side Stevenage, having been released by Bromley Town earlier this month.
And fellow former Hammer Stephen Hendrie, who was released on a free transfer last month having failed to make a single competitive appearance for West Ham's first team has agreed a deal with League One Southend, with whom he spent time on loan last season.

Turgott - who also spent time at Coventry and Orient after leaving West Ham - was charged with fraud and money laundering charges back in April. He left Bromley shortly after.

West Ham's Reece Burke to join Bolton on loan
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 28/06/17 8:18pm

West Ham defender Reece Burke is expected to join Bolton on a season-long loan. Burke will become manager Phil Parkinson's fourth addition of the summer following the signings of Adam Le Fondre, Mark Little and Andrew Taylor. The 20-year-old, a product of the West Ham academy, has previously spent time on loan at Wigan and Bradford. Burke made his West Ham debut in January 2014 and has since featured a further 11 times for the Hammers. He has also been capped by England at U18, U19 and U20 level.


Wednesday, June 28

Daily WHUFC News - 28th June 2017

Portugal call-up Domingos Quina for UEFA U19 European Championship

Midfielder Domingos Quina has been called up to Portugal's U19 squad for the upcoming UEFA European Championship. Quina and Portugal get their campaign underway against hosts Georgia on July 2 before two more group matches against Czech Republic three days later and then Sweden on July 8. The young star has enjoyed a terrific first season at West Ham United, since joining from Chelsea last summer, and his call up to the Portugal camp is another huge achievement in the 17-year-old's young career. He was part of the national squad that won the UEFA U17 European Championship last year and Quina believes the team can draw on the success from last year as this year's tournament progresses. "I'm not sure if [last year] will help at the start because we have to make sure we get through the group first but if we get through to final, we can start thinking about last year because we won," he said. "We know we are ready for the competition and we know we have a long way to go to get to the final. "I'm happy to be selected because it's a unique competition for the U19s and I cannot wait to get started and show people what I can do."

Portugal's U17 triumph last summer kickstarted a wonderful year for Quina on a personal level. I'm happy to be selected because it's a unique competition for the U19s and I cannot wait to get started and show people what I can do. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic spotted Quina's talent within weeks of his arrival in east London and he made the young star a regular at first team training sessions at Rush Green. The midfielder's main source of game time came with Terry Westley's U23s and he produced a moment of magic in the Hammers first Premier League Cup fixture of the season, lobbing the Leicester City goalkeeper from the halfway line in a 2-0 victory at Loughborough University. Just a few weeks later, Quina was nominated for the October Premier League 2 Player of the Month. He continued his consistent performances in the heart of the Hammers PL2 midfield throughout the season and, despite missing the promotion run-in through injury, Quina won the Dylan Tombides Award at the Player Awards evening in May after being recognised as the outstanding player from the Academy of Football.

Quina has also had a taste of first team matchdays after being named on the bench 12 times in Premier League fixtures over the course of the season, and he hopes to achieve his dream of making a full West Ham debut next season. "I wasn't expecting this year to go as well as it has but I always believe in my ability and I know what I can do," he continued. "Last year could have been even better if my dream [of playing for the West Ham first team] came true but I know I still have a lot to learn and hopefully that will happen."

Like Quina, goalkeeper Nathan Trott will also be at the U19 Euros in Georgia after being selected in the England squad. You can watch the progress of our young stars on Eurosport when the tournament gets underway on July 2.

Nearly 5,000 seats sold for West Ham United's Altona test

Nearly 5,000 tickets have already been sold for West Ham United's pre-season tour fixture at German side Altona 93.

The visit of the Hammers to the Hamburg-based club has clearly caught the imagination of fans in Germany's second-largest city, with the Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn stadium set to be rocking come kick-off at 6.30pm CEST on Tuesday 1 August.

Altona 93 spokesman Andy Sude said the competitive ticket prices had encouraged thousands of home supporters to see their team take on the visiting Premier Leaguers.

Tickets for West Ham supporters in the Stehplatz Gaster – Guest Terrace – section can be purchased online for just €10 now here.

"We are very happy that we can present these treats to our spectators and football fans in and around Hamburg," said Sude.

"It's been a few years since a Premier League club has played in Hamburg and we are sure that many football fans are looking forward to this event at our time-honoured Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn."

Secure your Altona 93 tickets now!

Altona 93 enjoyed a fine 2016/17 season, finishing third in the Oberliga Hamburg – the regional fifth tier of German football – before missing out on promotion by a single goal in the promotion play-offs.

Founded in 1893 as a cricket club by a group of local students, Altona became a football club a year later and were one of the founder members of the German Football Association. They were crowned Northern Germany champions in 1909 and 1914 and twice reached the semi-finals of the German Cup in 1955 and 1964.

The Hammers will spend ten days in Germany and, prior to facing Altona, will tackle Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen in the Betway Cup at the Sportzentrum Osterwald, Schneverdingen at 6.30pm CEST on Friday 28 July. Tickets for this match, priced at €15 for Adults and €10 for Concessions, can be bought here.

The two historic clubs will square-off again the following afternoon at 3.30pm CEST in a second Betway Cup tie at the Heinz-Dettmer-Stadion in Lohne. Seats for this fixture priced at €25 for Adults and €15 for Children, and standing tickets priced at €15/€8 respectively, are available online here.

West Ham will return to Germany for the fourth time in the last six summers next month, having competed in the Schalke 04 Cup in Gelsenkirchen in 2014, faced 1. FSV Mainz, SV Hamburg and Eintracht Braunschweig in 2013 and FC Rot-Weiss Erfurt, SG Dynamo Dresden and Energie Cottbus in 2012.

The Hammers also faced Germany opposition last summer in the shape of Bilic's former club Karlsruher SC in Austria, while Slaven Bilic's side also welcomed Werder Bremen to the Boleyn Ground for the Betway Cup in August 2015.

Written by Thomas Nott

According to national newspaper 'The Telegraph' that might not be the only thing that they will break this window with West Ham looking to match or slightly increase on Giroud's £120,000 a week contract at Arsenal, this would see Giroud become West Ham's highest paid player overtaking Dimitri Payet (£125,000).

However, any deal for Giroud will only be struck if Arsenal are successful in their pursuit of Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyonnais for a reported fee worth £49 million (€55.7 million). With Lyon recently signing Bertrand Traoré from Chelsea in a deal worth £8.8 million after recently coming off a good season with Ajax picking up 13 goals and 6 assists last season playing as a versatile player playing in multiple positions.

West Ham however, will have competition from Lyon for Giroud's signature if Lacazette is set to leave. Giroud however, confirmed to French television show Telefoot that he is not interested in returning to Ligue 1. "I am not insensitive to the approaches of the French clubs and especially that of Marseille… But my future is in the Premier League".

With Arsène Wenger currently reluctant to sell Giroud until he has signed another striker West Ham could be made to wait to make any contact with Giroud and his representatives. However French newspaper L'Equipe has reported that Wenger has told Giroud he is free to leave in his quest to find first team football.

Written by Dwayne Hawkins

He had pace that belied his size and a hunger to prove himself at the highest level of English Football. A poacher with the innate ability to find the back of the net with both his head and his feet, Dean Ashton was arguably the most natural goal scorer England had produced since Jermaine Defoe and would produce until the emergence of Daniel Sturridge and Harry Kane.

Ashton joined the Hammers at 22 years old for an initial fee of £7 Million – an amount that could easily be triple that in today's market. How far he could have gone and what he could have achieved in game we will never know as he was forced to cut his career short and call time only four years later.

In the 2005/2006 West Ham had just made their return to the Premier League. After finishing sixth in the Championship and getting promoted through the play offs the clubs early form stunned critics and pundits as they made a mockery of early predictions of a relegation battle by dabbling in the top half of the league. Yet, the strike force did need some work. Boasting Marlon Harewood – who was in the midst of his best spell for the club – an ageing Teddy Sheringham, the all glitz but no goals Jeremy Aliadiere and Bobby Zamora who had not yet been able to turn in the level of performances at the top level that we would see from him in the following season. It was clear as it has been for so many years since that we were lacking some firepower. Alan Pardew would turn to one of the most talented prospects in the country and for a record fee, Dean Ashton would be set to lead the line for West Ham for years to come.

His career would begin in 2000 as a 17 year old coming through the ranks at Crewe Alexandra. He would be described later by his first manager Dario Grodi as "the best finisher he had ever worked with". His first professional goal came aged 18 in a 4-2 victory over Burnley. He would end his first season with eight crucial goals in Crewe's fight against relegation the first division. He quickly established himself as one of the most promising young strikers in the country and would go on to score 61 goals in 158 appearances for Crewe. He would represent England at Under 17's, Under 19's and Under 20 level. He made a scoring debut for the Under 21 side in a 3-2 victory against the Netherlands on the 17th February 2004 after converting a cross from future strike partner Carlton Cole. He would make a further 8 appearances for the Under 21 side, scoring 3 goals.

Ashton would soon get the chance to prove himself in the Premiership when he signed for Norwich for a then club record fee of £3 million in January 2005. He made an instant impact by scoring on his home debut in a 4-4 draw against Middlesboro and would go on to prove that he was more than capable of playing in the highest division by bagging 7 goals in 16 games. Unfortunately his goals were not enough to save Norwich from relegation that season.

On the 22nd January 2006 West Ham announced the signing of Dean Ashton. He made his debut during the 3-2 victory against Arsenal, helping the Hammers to become the last team to defeat Arsenal at Highbury. He then scored 3 in his next 3 games in victories against Sunderland and Birmingham and a 2-2 draw with Everton. He was pivotal in the FA Cup run of that season, scoring twice to sink Manchester City in the Quarter Finals before doubling the Hammer's lead in the ill-fated cup final against Liverpool. Dean Ashton had made an impressive start to his West Ham career, leading the line with guile and fortitude that made him a thorn in the side of any defence he came up against. He had the dream of representing his country at the 2006 World Cup. His form in the second half of the season, coupled with his work rate and natural goal scoring ability suggests he should have been given that chance. Instead then England Manager Sven Goran Erickson picked unproven 17 year old prospect Theo Walcott as his fourth striker instead of Ashton.

He got his opportunity to fulfil his dream for the first time in August 2006. Unfortunately it was an incident in a training session that had geared toward him starting in a friendly against that would mar and define his career. A challenge by international team mate and then Chelsea player , Shaun Wright Phillips, that would shatter his ankle. Left on the side-lines to go through a gruelling rehabilitation, Ashton could do nothing but watch as his opportunity to play for England would come and go. In his absence West Ham would struggle domestically and flirt with relegation before dramatically surviving on the final day of the season.

Dean Ashton would work his way back to something resembling fitness for the beginning of the 2007/2008 season. The loss of cartilage in his ankle was so severe that his bones were rubbing together when he ran, something he once described as making a "crunching" sound. Despite still being in pain the desire to return to the pitch would win out and even though he was never anything close to 100 percent he ended the season with 12 goals. In June 2008 he would finally make his England international debut in the friendly against Trinidad and Tobago. After scoring twice on the opening day of 2008/2009 season Dean Ashton would sprain his already injured ankle in training. He underwent a procedure to fuse the two fragmented pieces of bone together and on the 11th December 2009, he would follow medical advice and retire from professional football, aged only 26.

In an era where players regularly do not reach their potential because of outside distractions and fragile mind-sets Dean Ashton stands alone as a man who had the hunger, the drive and most importantly the ability to be a striker of the highest quality. He was tenacious and graceful, and to this day aged only 33 still has the eye for goal that the Hammers so often lack – as he reminded us all with his overhead kick during his cameo appearance at Mark Noble's testimonial last season. With the exception of the short spells of Carlos Tevez and arguably Demba Ba, the club have been unable to replace with anyone who had the same quality that he had and certainly not with anyone who had the potential to be the player he could have become.

Looking back on a career that should have lasted a lot longer we are left thinking how different the last ten years could have been if we had had a striker who had half the ability of putting the ball in the back of the net that Deano had.

Giroud deal in the balance
Filed: Tuesday, 27th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's attempt to sign Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud are dependent on Lyon signing a replacement for Gunners target Alexandre Lacazette. Lacazette - who was courted by West Ham last summer, to no avail - is set to join the North London club in the near future. However Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has insisted that he will not allow the 26-year-old to leave until such time as he has signed an adequate replacement. And the knock-on effect of Aulas' decision is that Giroud - who has expressed a preference to remain in London, despite offers from France, including Lyon - cannot join West Ham until Lacazette has been signed. "Our position is that as long as we have not signed his [Lacazette's] replacement, we will keep him," Aulas said. "He expressed a wish to leave and he was given an agreement to go to the club of his heart, but things did not happen."
Lyon recently signed forward Bertrand Traore from Chelsea in a deal worth just under £9million, but Aulus insists that he is seeking at least one more striker before he will allow Lacazette to leave. Meanwhile West Ham continue to chase his namesake, the £8million-rated Adama Traore, who is moving closer to a move away from current club Middlesbrough.

Hammers snubbed by young striker
Filed: Tuesday, 27th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's attempt to sign Eupen's Henry Onyekuru collapsed this morning when the striker opted to join Everton instead. Despite having chased the talented youngster for several weeks, the Hammers were pipped to the post by the Merseysiders who have agreed an undisclosed fee with his former club.
As part of the deal, Onyekuru - who had also been heavily linked with Arsenal - will return to Belgium in order to join Anderlecht on a season-long loan as he was unable to secure a work permit in the UK for the forthcoming season.

Enner Valencia transfer bid rejected by West Ham
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 27/06/17 5:56pm

West Ham have turned down an offer for Enner Valencia from Mexican side Tigres, according to Sky sources. Sky Sports News HQ understands the Hammers are keen to offload the forward this summer and remain hopeful a deal can be struck. Valencia joined West Ham from Mexican side Pachuca for £12.5m in 2014 after impressing for Ecuador at the World Cup in Brazil. The 27-year-old struggled for consistency following his move to the Premier League and managed to score only 10 goals in 66 appearances for West Ham. Valencia spent last season on loan at Everton after being told he was surplus to requirements at West Ham by manager Slaven Bilic. He scored only three goals in 23 appearances and Everton decided not to activate the option to make his move to Goodison Park permanent at the end of last season.


As always during transfer season, West Ham insider ExWHUEmployee will be providing all the information you need to know about the Hammers' transfer business and other snippets on The West Ham Way. Make sure you tune into Phoenix 98.0 FM Wednesday evenings for 'The West Ham Way Radio Show' – listen live here tomorrow from 7 PM.

In the first of hopefully many Q&A's with Ex over the course of the summer, we sat down with the West Ham insider to discuss the club's summer transfer plans and what he feels about some of the major talking points surrounding the club right now.

1) If reported figures are to be believed, West Ham spent in the region of £70m on transfers during the 2016/17 season. Do you think the club plan to go even bigger this season?

I wouldn't say the budget is that big, well not that I have heard. The budget has been added to due to the sales of Nordtveit and soon to be Valencia but in my opinion, the figure that I have heard as the budget is slightly below what I think is required to really improve us so some shrewd deals are needed.

2) The club earmarked ~£20m of their budget last season for the permanent transfer of Simone Zaza which never materialised. This, in addition to the reported £25m the club received for the sale of Dimitri Payet in January, hands us, in theory at least, an extra £45m of funds to spend that wasn't originally budgeted for. Are the club planning to use this cash on multiple big-ticket signings or make one big splash and supplement the squad with 'lesser' additions?

It really depends on who is available but I think the club have learnt from their mistakes last year and will be investing a bigger amount in at least one forward but probably two. We would pay over £20m for either Giroud, Iheanacho and Bathsuayi. I think we could also spend a fair amount on a new winger too.

3) West Ham have allowed Reece Oxford to leave on loan, with Reece Burke likely to follow. In your opinion, is this the right move, or should they have been given a look in the first-team squad?

I think it is the right move for Oxford who hasn't really shown what he can do on a loan yet and I think he will learn a lot from playing in Germany. I am, however, disappointed that Burke hasn't been given his chance. I think he has proven himself on loan at Bradford before injuries affect his time at Wigan and he looked good in his few games in the Claret and Blue and I would have liked to have seen him stick around and feature maybe in some cup games and be in and around the squad. I suspect there will be a number of youngsters who will leave on loan this summer.

4) Havard Nordtveit has also left the club. He joins Jonathan Calleri, Simone Zaza and Alvaro Arbeloa on an ever-growing list of transfer failures from last summer. Do you think the club still have faith in Slaven Bilic to recruit the right players?

I think the board, Tony Henry and Bilic all have to take an element of responsibility for the failure of some of those signings. I think Bilic proved in his first season he can bring in talent so I see this year as a make or break one in the transfer market.

5) West Ham switched between multiple different formations last season. What do you think is their best formation moving forward? Also, do you think the club will recruit players to fit this system, seeing as last summer the players brought in were seen as more versatile options and haven't really been successful?

I suspect that we have bought Zabaleta to play at right back which to me suggest we will be playing a 4-2-2-1-1 formation which is similar to what we played last year for the majority of games. Players will be brought in with this formation in mind. I think we also have the option of bringing in Byram and going for five at the back with wing backs if we need it.

6) Bilic's future was a big talking point during last season – have the club made the right decision to stick with him?

I believe that they have. Despite what people on other social media tended to believe about me I backed the manager and felt he should have been given this season to prove himself. Don't get me wrong, he made a lot of mistakes last year especially with playing players out of position but I felt with the circumstances around the stadium and Payet he deserved a third season as a make or break one. At the end of the day, 11th wasn't a bad position in the end if you ignore some of the dreadful performances.

7) Where do you think the Hammers need to strengthen the most going into next season, and what are the plans to address them?

It has to be the forward position. We have lacked a great goalscorer for so long now. We are probably going as far back as Dean Ashton to the last one. The plans are to buy at least two top forwards and those names have been well and truly covered in my columns.

8) We start next season with three straight away games. Given our up and down form at the London Stadium last season, do you think this could be a positive thing?

It could be a good thing and away games are always more fun for the fans that go then the home fans so if we pick up some good results the season starts in a positive way. That said though, it is harder to play away and we have some tough teams thrown in so personally, I don't think it is a good thing. I would rather play Newcastle further into the season too when they have been found out a little more. Newly promoted teams usually start better than they finish.

9) Finally, Kelechi Iheanacho and Olivier Giroud are two hot names being linked with West Ham at the moment. Who do you think would be the best fit at the club?

I personally would take either of them. I think we are crying out for proven forwards and I wouldn't turn my nose up at either. Given the choice out of the two, I think I would sign Kelechi but that is more down to his age and his potential development.

West Ham fans will be livid if Everton sign Onyekuru and loan him straight out
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United have been linked with a move for the attacker all summer but it seems Everton have beaten them to the punch. According to a report from, Everton have reached an agreement to sign Eupen forward Henry Onyekuru, and while that would come as a bitter blow for his alleged suitors West Ham United, it is the Toffees' short-term plans for the player that will really rile Hammers supporters. The report states that Everton will immediately loan Onyekuru to Anderlecht, so not only are they signing a player West Ham have somehow let slip through their fingers, but they are not even going to use him next season.
Earlier this month, Own Goal Nigeria reported that West Ham made an improved £9million offer for the 20-year-old, after seeing an initial £7million bid rejected by Eupen. And while the Hammers can only do so much in pursuit of a player, one wonders if they really did enough in this instance. After all, the Nigerian scored 24 goals and provided nine assists for the Belgian club last season and he is exactly what West Ham need to ensure they improve in Slaven Bilic's third year at the helm.
Considering the cut-price fee it would have taken to get a deal over the line, the West Ham hierarchy should have been moving heaven and earth to get a deal done. While no official announcement has yet been made, if Everton do complete a deal and send him to Anderlecht, Hammers supporters can only sit and wonder what might have been, losing out on a player to a club who do not yet need him.

Date: 27th June 2017 at 12:38pm
Written by: Forever Westham

West Ham target Henry Onyekuru has joined Everton and will spend the next 12 months on loan at Belgian side Anderlecht, say reports from Daily Mail journalists on Twitter. The Hammers were allegedly close to signing the Nigerian only earlier this month, but having failed to meet his release clause, it now appears they have lost out to Premier League rivals Everton, who have made the Nigerian star their third signing of the summer.

Dominic King ✔ @DominicKing_DM
Everton have completed a deal for Henry Onyekuru, last season's top scorer in Belgium. He will spend next 12 months on loan at Anderlecht
12:24 PM - 27 Jun 2017 · Krakow, Poland
234 234 Retweets 190 190 likes

The Toffees have already spent over £50 million on Sunderland's Jordan Pickford and Ajax's Davy Klaassen. Reports state that a deal for the 20-year-old forward was completed late last night after a successful medical at Everton's Finch Farm training facility. Onyekuru, formerly a target of Arsenal, scored an impressive 22 times in his breakthrough season for Eupen, finishing as the Belgian First Division's joint top scorer. West Ham have only signed one player so far this summer, that being Pablo Zabaleta from Manchester City, however are yet to spend any money despite being linked with a number of high profile players, including Onyekuru and most recently Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.

West Ham bid £20m for Kelechi Iheanacho; Manchester City yet to respond
Vincent Ralph

It seems West Ham United have not given up their pursuit of the Manchester City forward just yet. According to a report from Sky Sports, West Ham United have submitted a £20million bid for Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, with the Blues yet to respond to the offer. The Hammers have been linked with the 20-year-old for much of the summer, but there appeared to be complications regarding City's insistence on a buyback clause. Given the striker's undeniable talent, it is no surprise that City are only willing to part company with the Nigerian international if they can sign him back at a later date for a previously agreed fee. And while West Ham may be loath to agree to such a clause, it could be the only way they can get a deal over the line. The Hammers need quality strikers now and Iheanacho is certainly that, proven in the Premier League, desperate for regular starts and with the innate talent to improve considerably over the next few years. Iheanacho has already scored 21 goals and provided eight assists for the Blues and he now needs to be playing week in, week out in order to really fulfil his potential. In an inflated transfer market, £20million for such a talented striker could prove to be a steal and West Ham manager Slaven Bilic will be desperately hoping City agree despite the interest of Leicester City. It is unlikely to be long before Pep Guardiola's side respond, and West Ham will either get some great news or potentially have to look elsewhere for a new striker they simply cannot do without next season.

West Ham and Leicester keen on Thorgan Hazard
Antony Martin

West Ham United and Leicester City are keen on the Monchengladbach man. Reports emanating from France today suggest that three Premier League clubs including the Hammers and the Foxes are interested in signing Borussia Monchengladbach star Thorgan Hazard, according to French media outlet Foot Mercato. The 24-year-old attacking midfielder - brother of Chelsea's Eden Hazard, enjoyed a successful campaign in the Bundesliga last term, scoring six goals and chipping in with four assists in 23 outings for his club. Foot Mercato claim that West Ham and Leicester's interest in the Belgian has intensified following his impressive showings last season, and they have been joined in the race to sign him by fellow Premier League side Stoke City. Hazard would be a useful signing for all of the aforementioned clubs, and the fact that he can play anywhere along the front-line, even in the centre-forward position, would surely be a huge attraction to any potential suitors. The former Chelsea star has just two years remaining on his current deal with Gladbach, so now would seemingly be the ideal time to sell him, as far as his peak value is concerned. From all the clubs listed as holding an interest in the Belgian, the Hammers are arguably the team most in need of someone of Hazard's quality. Slaven Bilic is desperately looking to bolster his forward options, and the potential addition of Hazard could be just what the club needs to help them kick on next season.

From Giroud to Iheanacho to Onyekuru - the epic list of forwards linked with West Ham
With West Ham desperate to sign a new frontman this summer, this list is exhaustive
Football London
10:07, 27 JUN 2017

With pre-season training already just a little more than a week away, the West Ham have yet to make their move in the transfer market to find a desperately needed striker. The Hammers were somewhat goal-shy last season with the constant injuries to Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho featuring just three times, with the onus on Michail Antonio to score the goals. Loan moves for Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri completely flopped, while Ashley Fletcher wasn't trusted enough either. The club has been searching for a new frontman for the best part of 12 months and have been linked with a host of forwards but as yet, none of them have arrived in E20. Here, we look at just some of the forwards the club have been touted to make moves for so far this summer.

Olivier Giroud

West Ham are prepared to break the bank for the Arsenal forward, according to reports, with West Ham wanting to entice Giroud with £130,000 a week wages. The Arsenal striker has been heavily linked with the Hammers as the Gunners chase Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, paving the way for Giroud to move on.

Kelechi Iheanacho

The Nigerian forward has been heavily linked with a move to the London Stadium for a few weeks now and, if reports are to be believed, he could soon be signing on the dotted line if the buy-back clause issue can be sorted out. The Hammers are in need of a striker and Iheanacho ticks all the boxes for West Ham.

Shane Long

West Ham have been linked with Long in the past and it seems Bilic is keen to finally get his man. The Ireland striker could be open to a move having spent most of last season on the bench at Southampton.

Michy Batshuayi

Batshuayi scored the goal that won Chelsea the league last season but his future could lie away from Stamford Bridge. West Ham seems a likely destination for the Belgian, whether that be on loan or a permanent deal.

Jermain Defoe

The Hammers were keen on signing Defoe in January but they could not strike a deal with Sunderland for their former striker. Bournemouth are said to be in talks for the England international, although the deal is yet to go through despite reports last week that it was close to completion.

Martin Braithwaite

Denmark international Braithwaite has put clubs on red alert by saying he wants to depart Toulouse this summer. West Ham and Southampton are interested in the 25-year-old but they would face competition from a number of Bundesliga clubs for his signature.

Islam Slimani

Slimani only joined Leicester last season but he could already be on his way out of the club following his £29million move. The Hammers, as well as West Brom, are interested, although a move back to Portugal looks more likely to happen.

Mario Mandzukic

The Croat will be in Champions League final action tomorrow evening but reports suggest that could be his last game for the club.
Bilic is believed to want to bring his fellow compatriot to east London but Besiktas are lining up a move for the frontman.

Max Kruse

Kruse is yet another name to be linked with the club as they bid to strengthen upfront ahead of the new season. German paper Bild suggest the Hammers, Everton, West Brom, Southampton and Stoke City are all lining up moves for the 15-goal striker in the summer.

Henry Onyekuru

The 18-year-old forward is attracting attention from no less than eight Premier League teams but it was West Ham who showed their hand first. Issues over obtaining a work permit for the Nigerian are now resolved but the Hammers will have to work hard to get the in-demand striker over other clubs.

Anthony Modeste

The striker who flopped at Blackburn a few years back has undergone a transformation at Koln and has been scoring goals for fun, leading to the inevitable links with West Ham. However, the club absolutely baulked at the whopping £40m price tag slapped on his head by his clubs and Modeste is now set for a move to China.

Lucas Muriel

Sampdoria's Luis Muriel is the latest name added to the long list of strikers West Ham have been linked with. The Colombian caught the eye in Serie A last season and is reported to have attracted interest from Spain and England, as well as fellow clubs in Italy.

Yann Karamoh

Another youngster who had a good season on the continent, the Ivorian star is ready to leave Ligue 1 side Caen. The Hammers have been linked with a £9m bid for the forward, who made his breakthrough last season, scoring five goals and adding four assists.

Theo Walcott

The Hammers were reportedly readying a £25m for the Arsenal star, who can play up front but is more suited to a wing role. Walcott is concerned a new formation at Arsenal could hamper his England chances in the future and Slaven Bilic is ready to rescue him but the links didn't go down well with Hammers fans.

Lucas Perez

Another Arsenal forward attracting Hammers interest, he has struggled to break through into Arsene Wenger's plans following his move from Deportivo last summer, much to the annoyance of Gunners fans. A return to Spain is more likely and that will be accelerated if Arsenal sign a new forward.

The Curious Case of Arbeloa Unfolds

Alvaro Arbeloa arrived at West Ham from Real Madrid with much expectation that he would tighten up a porous defence by bringing his experience to the right back position that has so troubled Slaven Bilic's reign as West Ham manager. However, Arbeloa quickly fell out of favour after a number (three actually) of lukewarm performances and was suddenly out of the frame even despite Sam Byram picking up an injury.

In truth, many Hammers fans were bemused and befuddled by the whole affair. Arbeloa had no apparent injury issues and his history pointed towards a consummate professional. Just exactly what was wrong was very unclear indeed. However, announcing his retirement today, Arbeloa spoke to La Marca and shed some light on his difficulties at West Ham citing that it was not a physical problem but rather " in the end it was a head and motivational issue".

Arbeloa went on to describe how he has no interest in playing in the lucrative US or Chinese Leagues as for him they represent something that he finds less appealing about modern football. Hammers fans will note that he found motivation an issue despite his rumoured £50k per week wage! As the 15th richest club in the world, surely it's time for West Ham to stop buying past it burned out players who lack the desire that a club with our ambitions needs?

West Ham and Arsenal on alert as Everton join race for wonderkid Henry Onyekuru - report
The Hammers were said to be leading the race, but interest from the Toffees may have changed things
Football London
07:45, 27 JUN 2017UPDATED08:08, 27 JUN 2017

West Ham and Arsenal could be set to lose out on Belgian wonderkid Henry Onyekuru after Everton joined the race for the Nigerian youngster. Both London clubs were said to be battling it out for the 20-year-old - with a fee of around £7 million rumoured by many.
In fact, it was the Hammers who were said to be leading the race according to many recent reports, with Onyekuru claiming that he would turn down any move to an elite club in favour of regular first-team football. However, interest from Everton might have changed the scenario. According to Belgian publication DH, the Toffees would try to sign the winger and then immediately loan him out to Belgian champions Anderlecht to pick up more first-team experience in a league he knows well. The 20-year-old bagged an impressive 22 goals in 38 league appearances last campaign - and also claimed 14 assists. It is yet to be seen whether another year in Belgium would tempt Onyekuru before a guaranteed move to Goodison Park, with Onyekuru having gained an entry visa to the UK but not a full work permit, as was reported last week.

West Ham reportedly ready to activate £24million release clause to sign South American striker
By Eshlin Vedan - June 27, 2017 0

According to reports, West Ham are interested in signing unsettled Sampdoria striker Luis Muriel and have not been put off by the £24 million buy-out clause in the players' contract. Hammers manager Slaven Bilic is looking to add new strikers to his squad this summer, especially given that Michail Antonio, who plays as a midfielder, was the club's top scorer this past season with nine strikes. Muriel bagged 11 goals in the Serie A this past season and has also reportedly attracted the interest of Leicester City, Roma and Inter Milan.
After two seasons at Sampadoria, Muriel appeared to indicate recently that he is open to leaving the club by saying, "There are a lot of rumours about me and my agent told me he will only call with something concrete. He has not called me yet and hope he will within the next few days."

Muriel is very highly rated and has been nicknamed the Colombian Ronaldo.

West Ham looking into Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott transfers from Arsenal
Mark Brus for
Tuesday 27 Jun 2017 8:45 am

West Ham are reportedly keen on both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott at Arsenal in this summer's transfer window, though they're likely to only sign one of them. The Hammers are ready to spend big on new attacking players this summer, and have also been linked several times with Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho in that position. However, latest reports suggest they could be focusing on swooping for one of two Arsenal forwards, with Giroud valued at £20million and the most realistic target for Slaven Bilic's side.
The France international looks most likely to make way this summer as Arsenal close in on their own big-money signing of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette in a club-record move. According to Goal, West Ham are also admirers of Walcott, 28, though are slightly put off by the England international's £30m price tag at the Emirates Stadium. Walcott had one of his most personally successful seasons in an Arsenal shirt last term, scoring 19 goals in all competitions – his second highest tally in a single season for the Gunners. Giroud, however, played less often and has suggested he isn't happy to continue being used in a super-sub role. '(Arsene) Wenger is counting on me even though he hasn't used me much,' Giroud said earlier this month. 'I will not settle for limited playing time (next season) like I have this season.' West Ham have reportedly already held initial talks over signing Giroud, who would be offered a four-year contract worth £100,000 per week at the London Stadium.

By Dan Coker 27 Jun 2017 at 08:00

I'll lay my cards on the table from the outset – I personally am a big believer in the loan system. Our big successes from youth to first team level have all benefited from time in the lower leagues. Frank Lampard Junior spent a month at Swansea, while Rio Ferdinand went to Bournemouth. Joe Cole was the exception to the rule as he was fast-tracked to the first team but Michael Carrick had short spells at Swindon and Birmingham. Jermain Defoe had a highly successful stint at Bournemouth and Glen Johnson played a handful of games for Millwall. Mark Noble spent time at Hull and Ipswich while, more recently, James Tomkins had a spell at Derby before becoming a Hammers regular.

Of course, along the way, there are loan spells that didn't work out. Freddie Sears showed at Crystal Palace that he would find it difficult to replicate his excellent youth team form at full league level and he subsequently struggled with the Hammers in the Premier League. Martin Samuelsen and Marcus Browne had disappointing, disrupted spells at Championship level last season while Reece Burke's encouraging development was hampered by a hip injury at Wigan. Conversely, Josh Cullen had an excellent spell at Bradford, following in the footsteps of Burke the season before.

Another factor to throw in of course is that West Ham United's Under-23s recently secured promotion to the top flight of PL2, ensuring their place amongst the best players in their age group. It is of the utmost importance that this elite position is not relinquished. This brings with it a precarious balancing act of sending young players out on loan to gain experience in the Football League, while simultaneously leaving enough quality players to ensure the Under-23 side can adequately compete.

As an aside, I'm very much of the opinion that Reece Oxford has secured a fantastic temporary switch to a very good side in one of the best leagues in the world and I'd like to take this opportunity to wish him the very best of luck at Borussia Monchengladbach. As it currently stands, he will be facing the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski, Anthony Modeste, Timo Werner and Mario Gomez next season. It will be a great experience for young Reece and, in my opinion, will be a huge boost to his development and only serve to benefit West Ham United in the long run.

In this article, I give my opinions on which Hammers starlets should be retained and who else, alongside Oxford, would benefit from loan spells.

Reece Burke – LOAN

Burke had a fantastic 2015/16 campaign on loan in League One with Bradford but his spell at Wigan in the Championship last season was disrupted by injury. With Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, James Collins and Jose Fonte ahead of him in the current pecking order, a further spell out on loan in the Championship may be best for the 20-year-old's development. However, we should look to find him a bigger and better club than we did last season, ideally somewhere where he can play at a big stadium in front of expectant home fans.

Declan Rice – RETAIN

With Oxford and possibly Burke out on loan, the Under-23s will need a centre-half who can help them keep clean sheets. 18-year-old skipper Rice is the ideal man to stay and help his troops through the top-flight transition.

Josh Cullen – LOAN

Cullen (pictured above) had an excellent time at Bradford last season but the jump from League One football to the Premier League is a huge one. The next logical step for the 21-year-old is a similar stint in the Championship. As with Bradford in the league below, a club competing at the top end of the division would only help Cullen's confidence levels.

Marcus Browne – RETAIN

Browne's loan spell at Wigan was not far short of a disaster. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder will almost certainly need a serious boost to his confidence and staying with the Hammers as a top-flight Academy player will hopefully help do that for him.

Martin Samuelsen – RETAIN

Another who had a disastrous loan spell last season, this time at Blackburn. A very promising stint in League One the previous campaign with Peterborough was not built on at Ewood Park, again highlighting the concerns regarding sending players to clubs who struggle against relegation. The 20-year-old, already capped at full international level by Norway, was not the same player when he returned to The Posh in January. Samuelsen (pictured below) will benefit from being in and around the first team squad at West Ham next season and by getting regular game time with the Under-23s in the PL2 top tier.

Domingos Quina – LOAN

Quina spent a lot of time as an unused substitute in the Premier League last season and, at the age of 17, would do well to get regular football elsewhere. Any Championship team with a focus on creativity and attacking football would be a good choice for Quina.

Ashley Fletcher – LOAN

I'm personally not sure that 21-year-old Fletcher has what it takes to be a regular goalscorer at Premier League level but there's no harm in loaning him out and seeing if he can use the Championship as a stepping stone to future top-flight success. There's no doubt the lad has talent but his only regular game time to date has come in League One at Barnsley in 2015/16. A team chasing promotion would be ideal, maybe one of the sides relegated from the Premier League last season as he'd be playing and training alongside players with recent top-level experience.

Toni Martinez – LOAN

Martinez had a decent spell at Oxford, although seemingly performed better in the FA Cup than in League One. Half a season in the Championship would be good for his development, particularly if he had the opportunity to work with a manager who used to be a striker to help guide him through how to be a success against tough, uncompromising defenders. Martinez turns 20 on Friday.

My suggestions above would see the Hammers loan out six youngsters in Burke, Oxford, Cullen, Quina, Fletcher and Martinez. The Under-23 side would therefore consist mainly of:

Trott; Pike, Pask, Rice, Sylvestre; Dobson, Browne; Kemp, Samuelsen, Holland; Hector-Ingram.

That, to me, looks like a side which could have a good go at retaining the club's position in the top tier of the Under-23 league, with players who had spells away from the club on loan last season (Pike, Pask, Dobson, Browne and Samuelsen) being retained to add their loan experiences to the added rigour and challenge of the coming PL2 campaign, as well as being available for the first team for League Cup ties and a place on the bench in the Premier League.

So, what do readers think? Do you agree with the players selected for loan? Would you prefer to keep all our youngsters for the Under-23 campaign or, conversely, loan out even more for full league experience?


Tuesday, June 27

Daily WHUFC News - 27th June 2017

Andre Ayew attends Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Ghana

Andre Ayew returned to Ghana to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The West Ham United and Black Stars forward joined Muslim scholars in Nima, a suburb of the capital Accra, to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an important religious holiday marking the end of the month of fasting. Ayew and brother Jordan, the Swansea City forward, joined Ghana's National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development Boniface Abubakar Saddick, and other prominent Islamic Scholars, for the annual Qur'anic recitations and special prayers.
During his visit to the country where his father, the former Ghana and Marseille midfielder Abedi 'Pele' Ayew, was born, Ayew also donated an undisclosed amount of money to the National Chief Imam and Sheikh Mohammed Ridwan, host of the annul recitation as their special gifts for the Eid Ul Fitr celebration.
The Hammers and Swansea forwards also donated rice, cooking oil and milk to the local Kado Mosque, to enable local people to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The brothers also joined Ghana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi at a Mosque at the Firdaus Foundation for Social Services, which distributes food to needy families across Ghana, in Nima to observe the traditional Friday congregational prayers. One of the Five Pillars of Islam, Ramadan is an annual worldwide month of fasting, during which Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids and smoking from dawn until sunset. Ramadan, which this year ended on Saturday 24 June, typically includes the increased offering of prayers, recitation of the Quran and an increase of doing good deeds and charity, as was illustrated by the Ayew brothers during their visit to Ghana.

Nathan Trott earns England call-up for U19 European Championship

Promising goalkeeper Nathan Trott has been included in the England U19s squad for the upcoming UEFA European Championship next month.
The 18-year-old was a key figure for West Ham's U23s last season and his form was rewarded by the national selectors in March when he was called-up for the three Elite Round qualifiers against Spain, Norway and Belarus. The Young Lions won all three matches to seal their passage to the tournament in Georgia, but Trott had to settle for a watching brief on the sidelines. However, his eye-catching displays for the Hammers PL2 group have seen him achieve his first major tournament call-up, with England set to open their campaign against Bulgaria on July 3, followed by two more group fixtures against the Netherlands on July 6 and Germany on July 9. "It's always a pleasure to represent England and it's even more exciting to do so in a major tournament," he said. "I've had a great year and being selected in the Euros squad has made it even better. Hopefully I can impress the manager and get my first cap out there."

It's been a hugely successful summer for England's youth sides so far. The U20s set the ball rolling when they clinched the Toulon Tournament title two weeks ago, beating Ivory Coast on penalties in the final with young Hammer Dan Kemp in the squad. A day later, England's senior U20 group won the World Cup for the first time in their history, beating Venezuela 1-0 in the final. And with the U21s poised for a European semi-final with Germany on Tuesday, Trott hopes the U19s can maintain the feel-good factor generated by the England youth sides so far this summer. "It's great to be a part of a team where you can achieve great things and hopefully we can add to that success this summer. "All the success gives everyone in the other age groups confidence and it's important we do well at the Euros to keep the feel-good factor going in England."

The competition officially gets underway on July 2 and you can keep up to date with England's progress at the tournament on Eurosport.

Hammers linked with €20m Juve star
Filed: Monday, 26th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are one of two Premier League clubs reported to be in talks with Juventus over the potential transfer of Mario Lemina. The 23-year-old midfielder is set to leave Juve this summer and, according to reports, has held discussions with both West Ham and Watford over a potential move to England. Rated at around the €20million mark, the Gabonese international has previously been linked with a move to Arsenal - a move which he is said to be keen on - but the Gunners' interest appears to have cooled. And that has allowed both West Ham and Watford to make their interest known - although both are understood to have been told that they will have to pay at least €20million to complete the signing.

* Staying in Serie A and The Sun claim that West Ham are considering a move for Sampdoria's Columbian striker Luis Muriel. Despite recently signing a new contract with the Genoa-based club, the 26-year-old is reported to be available for £24million due to an escape clause in his contract. Liverpool, Leicester and Inter are all reported to have expressed an interest in signing the player in recent weeks.

The mighty Quina
Filed: Monday, 26th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

Academy star Domigos Quina says he is ready to feature in the first team next season. The Portuguese youth international was involved with the first team squad on several occasions last season without making his Premier League bow. However a season on, and with that much more experience under his belt, the young midfielder believes that he is now ready for the big time. "Training with the first team so much in my first season has definitely developed me as a player," he told "The tempo of the game, the physical side of it - I'm getting used to all that now and more often. "Hopefully now I can play in the Premier League as well, and that's the aim. It was a good first year but now I want to kick on. It was a good first year but now I want to kick on. "When I first came in, I thought that I would be looking to impress at the Academy and earn a chance later in the season to go with the first team, so that was huge that I was trusted to go straight in there."

Quina was named as a substitute on 12 occasions last season without making a single appearance in the Premier League. He did however feature twice for the Hammers in the Europa League.

West Ham ready to break bank for Olivier Giroud with club-record £130,000-a-week deal for Arsenal striker
The Hammers are willing to pay £20m for Giroud, who looks set to leave north London if Alexandre Lacazette arrives
The Mirror
16:04, 26 JUN 2017

West Ham are ready to break the bank to sign Olivier Giroud. Arsenal are likely to offload the France striker as they look to complete a £50m deal for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. But West Ham are desperate to get Giroud and stop the Arsenal striker returning to France either as part of the Lacazette deal or to another Ligue 1 club. West Ham are willing to pay £20m plus a staggering £130,000-a-week for Giroud which would make it the biggest deal in the club's history. Giroud, who turns 30 in September, only signed a new deal in January on £120,000-a-week which takes him up until 2020. But West Ham are ready to better that - and give him an extra year to try to tempt him to move across London. Lyon have admitted publicly they are interested in Giroud while Marseille have also been linked with him. But it is unlikely either club could match West Ham's offer and now Giroud has a big decision to make on his future. Giroud has been a brilliant servant for Arsenal since his £11m move from Montpellier in 2012 and is still a first choice for France. But he lost his place towards the end of the campaign and now Arsenal could let him go to help fund their rebuilding plans.
But no deal would be sanctioned until they get reinforcements and Giroud has stayed and fought for his place in the past. Lacazette is their No1 priority and they hope they can get a deal done while Monaco's Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe remain on their radar. They face daunting competition for Mbappe from Real Madrid with Liverpool also interested.

When do West Ham begin pre-season & which youngsters will Bilic involve? All you need to know
West Ham will return to Rush Green a lot sooner then you think
Football London
15:00, 26 JUN 2017

It barely feels like yesterday that West Ham were finishing the 2016/17 Premier League season with a 2-1 win away at Burnley on the final day to secure an 11th place finish. The players have had some time off since then and when the fixtures for the 2017/18 season were revealed - the Hammers will travel to Manchester United on the opening day - the new season felt a lot closer. Slaven Bilic will have one new face at pre-season training, that of Pablo Zabaleta but it looks increasingly unlikely there will be any other new additions before the first team players report back to the outskirts of Romford.

So, when do the players rock back up at Rush Green? That'll be on July 5 (next Wednesday), where the players will realise their holidays are officially over and Bilic, assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic, first team coach Edin Terzic, head of performance Miljenko Rak, keeper coach Chris Woods, first team coach Julian Dicks and new head of medical recruit Gary Lewin will get down to business.

Bilic, of course, may still be recovering from his off-season hip replacement, the second one he has had. The manager may not be fit - as it were - to start the pre-season training regime but should be in place for the tours.

Unlike last season following Euro 2016, the Hammers players have had plenty of time to rest up - Edimilson Fernandes certainly is if you follow his Instagram account - so there won't be any excuses for not showing up on July 5. Jose Fonte might be the exception as he is taking part in the Confederations Cup with Portugal so he may well get a week off to recover.

As always, the first team players will be there - minus the departed Alvaro Arbeloa, Havard Nordtveit, Gokhan Tore, Jonathan Calleri, Reece Oxford etc etc - but some of the Hammers youngsters will also show up.

Declan Rice, Toni Martinez, Dan Kemp, Josh Cullen, Moses Makasi, Noha Sylvestre and Domingos Quina will almost certainly be involved as they all target a spot on the pre-season tours to Germany, Austria and Iceland. Marcus Browne, Reece Burke, George Dobson and Martin Samuelsen could also be a part of it.
Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang have targeted returns from their respective injuries as the start of pre-season but may well be eased back into action.

Five days of easing back into things at Rush Green will be followed by the tours and in case you had forgotten, here's a rundown of what the Hammers will be doing and where.

July 10-21: Training camp in Austria

July 24-August 3: Training camp in Germany

July 28: v Werder Bremen (Schneverdingen, Germany)

July 29: v Werder Bremen (Lohne, Germany)

August 1: v Altona 93 (Hamburg, Germany)

August 4: v Manchester City (Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavik)

Then, it's go time as the Hammers head to Old Trafford on August 12 - as it stands that could change - to get the season underway.

Papa Ndiaye, he claims England move is definite
Olly Dawes

West Ham United have reportedly made their move for Osmanlispor star Papa Ndiaye. According to Turkish newspaper Haberturk, West Ham United have made a €10million (£8.8million) bid to sign Osmanlispor midfielder Papa Ndiaye. The Hammers have already tied up one new signing this summer by landing defender Pablo Zabaleta, but manager Slaven Bilic still needs more reinforcements after a disappointing campaign. With fringe players such as Alvaro Arbeloa, Gokhan Tore and Havard Nordtveit moving on this summer, West Ham may look to splash some cash, and a bid appears to have been submitted for a new midfielder. Turkish newspaper Haberturk report that West Ham have offered €10million (£8.8million) to sign Osmanlispor midfielder Papa Ndiaye – and a deal could be on the cards. Ndiaye, 26, has been a goalscoring midfielder throughout his career, smashing 31 goals in 111 games for Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt before joining Osmanlispor in Turkey back in the summer of 2015. Since heading to Osmanlispor, Ndiaye – a Senegalese international team-mate of West Ham star Cheikhou Kouyate – has scored 18 goals in 75 games, including seven last season. Primarily an attacking midfielder who also has the pace to play out wide if needed, Ndiaye could be a smart addition to Bilic's side, and West Ham will hope that Osmanlispor accept their first bid. Ndiaye is even quoted in the report as saying that he will definitely be leaving Osmanlispor this summer, and his new team will be in the Premier League – suggesting that West Ham may well be leading the race for his signature.

Who is Yann Karamoh? Everything you need to know about the wonderkid interesting West Ham
The 18-year-old is barely known outside of France so we've done some digging to find out more about him
Football London
10:23, 26 JUN 2017UPDATED11:00, 26 JUN 2017

West Ham have been linked with a £9m swoop for Caen wonderkid Yann Karamoh as they aim to bolster their squad ahead of the upcoming Premier League season. As is often the norm with the Hammers, they are linked with someone not many people have heard off and th 18-year-old Ivorian is no exception - he's barely known outside of France. The move could be a similar one to that of Edimilson Fernandes, where West Ham's wide-ranging scouting network has picked up on a potential star of the future. Fernandes was picked up from FC Sion for around £5m last summer and has gone on to be a fan favourite in E20. But, what do we know about Karamoh? Here is everything you need to know about the reported target for Slaven Bilic. Born in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Karamoh joined Caen in Ligue 1 in 2011 from Racing Colombes 92. He signed his first professional deal at the club in December 2015 on a three year deal. He spent the season with the Caen second eleven and impressed massively, scoring 11 goals in 28 games which earned his promotion to the first team.

The following season, he made his Ligue 1 debut for Caen in their 3-2 win against Lorient when he got a 13 minute cameo off the bench.
Just six days later, he made his first start for his side, a 2-0 defeat away at Lyon where Karamoh played the entire 90 minutes. He bagged a vital winning goal for his team away at Guingamp in a 1-0 win in April this season and another late winner against Lyon earlier in the season, with Caen squeezing past the French giants 3-2.

Is Bilic eyeing Karamoh as potential Onyekuru alternative?
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United are believed to have made a bid for Yann Karamoh over the weekend, so what does that mean for their pursuit of the Nigerian? According to's French office, West Ham United have made an £8.7million bid for SC Caen attacker Yann Karamoh, and while the move appears to have come out of nowhere, one wonders if Hammers boss Slaven Bilic sees the teenager as a possible alternative to long-term target Henry Onyekuru. As reported by Own Goal Nigeria earlier this month, West Ham tabled an improved £9million offer for the Eupen player after seeing an initial £7million quickly rejected by the Belgian club. The problem for the Hammers is that Onyekuru's cut-price release clause does not apply to English clubs - only those in the country where he is currently plying his trade - meaning Eupen are looking to push the price up for a player who enjoyed an outstanding campaign last time out.

Considering Onyekuru's versatility and his return of 24 goals in 41 matches last season, West Ham should really be going all out for the 20-year-old. But the bid for Karamoh suggests Bilic may now be looking elsewhere. While the latter is predominantly a winger he can also operate up front if required and at just 18 he has years to develop his game in a different position. Just as Onyekuru does his best work out wide, Karamoh is an attacking wide man whose future could be as an out-and-out striker. With Caen valuing the player at just £8.7million, there is also no back-and-forth between clubs attempting to push the price up, and the Hammers will know it is now down to the player to chose between them and his other alleged suitors RB Leipzig. A move for Onyekuru may still go through in due course, but it does feel at this stage that West Ham are stepping back rather than being thrust into an auction, moving for an underwhelming alternative that could have their fans worrying about the possibility of transfer deja vu.

West Ham lodge £8m offer for Senegal attacker N'Diaye - reports
The report arrives from Turkey, who claim the Hammers have made an offer for the attacker
Football London
11:02, 26 JUN 2017

According to reports in Turkey via Haberturk, West Ham have lodged an £8m bid for Osmanlispor striker Badou N'Diaye. The 26-year-old is an attacking midfielder, who can also play on the right wing or as a central midfielder though he prefers to play in a Manuel Lanzini-style role. N'diaye, from Senegal, started his career at Diambars in his home country before he earned a loan move to Norway and FK Bodø/Glimt, where he made 27 appearances in 2012. Three goals in 27 appearances was enough to earn him a permanent move to Norway and N'Diaye would go on to make a further 73 appearances and had an impressive scoring record, notching 25 goals in two seasons.
That form saw Turkish side Osmalispor take notice and they picked him up in August 2015 for what seems a very cheap £300,000, considering he is now worth nearly £10m. N'Diaye made 42 appearances in all competitions for the Turkish Super Lig side last season and scored seven times, while assisting three others. N'Diaye has spoken about his future recently and is quoted as saying: "I will definitely leave Turkey. My new team will be in the Premier League."

Key West Ham star Michail Antonio opens up on major distraction last season
Antony Martin

The West Ham United man put pen-to-paper on a new deal towards the end of last term. Hammers winger Michail Antonio sat down for an exclusive interview with the club's official website and explained how last season's ongoing contract talks proved to be a distraction, and how happy he is that he and the club finally came to an agreement. The 27-year-old has been a revelation for West Ham since he joined the club from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2015, for a fee believed to be in the region of £7 million. That fee now seems like mere pocket change, with Antonio going on to score 17 goals in 55 Premier League outings - a quite remarkable tally considering he spent a prolonged period playing at right-back for Slaven Bilic's side. He has also earned call-ups to the England squad, and despite having not yet actually earned a cap, his debut for the Three Lions is surely only just around the corner. And Antonio spoke to about how last season's contract talks could very well have been detrimental to his overall game: "It was pleasing to get the deal done before the summer started. The contract talks went on for a long time and it can be quite distracting, so I'm looking forward to going out next season and playing with a free mind."
Antonio will be hoping to remain injury free next season, and help fire his Hammers side to a more successful season in the Premier League. The West Ham faithful adore the 27-year-old winger, and by signing a new deal, he would have endeared himself to them even more so. With his future now sorted out, and the World Cup on the horizon, Antonio could be on the verge of one of his most successful campaigns yet.

West Ham summer targets could leave Slaven Bilic with ageing side
Damien Lucas

West Ham United have been linked with a plethora of players this summer but could be at risk of compiling an ageing squad. The Hammers are known for their Academy of Football roots and have a proud history of bringing through young players for club and country. Recent comments from co-owner David Gold suggest the East Londoners are no longer a club which gives chances to teenagers, though, which has been backed up by the decision to send talented Reece Oxford on loan for the season to Germany. Meanwhile Slaven Bilic has signed one player so far in the shape of veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta, who turns 33 during next season.
And media speculation has seen the club linked with a host of more senior players such as John Terry - who turns 37 next season, Joe Hart, who will be 31, Phil Jagielka - who will be 35 when the new season gets underway and Bafetimbi Gomis - 32 this August. The Hammers had also been linked with Bournemouth bound former academy graduate Jermain Defoe, who turns 35 two months into the new season in what appears to be a very deliberate shift in transfer policy. Those targets would join a side containing a number of players over the age of 30 with James Collins and Jose Fonte (both 34 next season), goalkeepers Adrian and Darren Randolph and Mark Noble (all 31 next season) and Robert Snodgrass (30 next season). It was just two season ago owners David Sullivan and David Gold ripped up their recruitment process, bringing in talent spotter Tony Henry as they targeted younger, hungry players with future sell-on value.

The owners said players under the age of 27 were their preference and at first it worked with a number of success stories like Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio, Pedro Obiang and Chiekhou Kouyate to name but a few. Last season's recruitment bordered on disastrous, though, as the Hammers took a big step back with their transfer dealings cited as the key reason for their demise. Perhaps Bilic feels the team needs more leaders and experience, but are the club in danger of going too far the other way at the expense of what looks a talented crop of young players emerging including the likes of Oxford, Toni Martinez, Reece Burke, Josh Cullen, Martin Samuelsen, Domingos Quina, Marcus Browne and Declan Rice.

Bolton Wanderers make ambitious bid to sign two West Ham youngsters on loan next season
Marc Iles MarcIles
chief football writer

WANDERERS have registered their interest in taking West Ham pair Josh Cullen and Reece Burke on loan this season. The two highly-rated youngsters have worked with Phil Parkinson before at Bradford City and are on the Whites' shortlist if the Hammers decide to send them out for more experience. Cullen was considered last season before a surplus of midfielders in the Wanderers camp made the manager look elsewhere. The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has got four senior appearances under his belt with West Ham and has been tipped for a regular spot in Slaven Bilic's squad this time around. But Parkinson has marked the 21-year-old's card if his club decides a year in the Championship would be better for his development and the Whites could have a midfield spot to fill if Jay Spearing's contract talks do not go according to plan. Whereas Wanderers may have to sit and wait to see if Cullen is allowed out on loan this term, West Ham have already indicated Burke will be available after a spell with Wigan Athletic last season was blighted by injury.

In May, Hammers co-owner David Gold controversially expressed doubts about whether his club's younger players would be able to push past senior professionals to command a regular Premier League spot. Since then, defender Reece Oxford has been loaned out to German giants Borussia Monchendgladbach. Wanderers would be able to offer regular football and have the fact Parkinson is well-known to both players counting in their favour. Burke played under the Whites boss at Bradford two years ago and won the Bantams' player of the year award aged just 19. He is primarily a centre-half and has 12 appearances for his parent club, including experience in the Europa League.
Parkinson is on the lookout for competition across his defence but reports of interest in former Swindon Town centre-back Raphael Branco – now at Portuguese club Boavista - have been strongly denied by sources at the Macron. Wanderers will begin their pre-season training this morning with a series of fitness tests, leading up to their first friendly at Chorley.


Monday, June 26

Daily WHUFC News - 26th June 2017

Quina – I'm excited for the new season

Domingos Quina is ready to push on in 2017/18 after a successful first
season with the Hammers
The young Portugal youth international made his first team debut in the
Europa League last term
Quina was also named as a substitute 12 times by Slaven Bilic for Premier
League clashes last season

Young Hammer Domingos Quina is hoping the first team experiences he enjoyed
last season can help him push on and seize more senior opportunities in the
upcoming campaign. The Portugal youth international, who was crowned a UEFA
European Champion with his country in the U17 tournament last summer, made
his West Ham debut in the Europa League last campaign. And after playing in
the Club's London Stadium official opener against Juventus, the midfield
talent was named on the substitutes' bench for 12 Premier League matches
during the term. Quina also signed a new long-term deal with the Hammers
before topping off the campaign by winning the Dylan Tombides award as the
season came to its climax. The teenager believes he learned a lot during his
first year in English football, and is now ready to kick on once again in
2017/18. "Training with the first team so much in my first season has
definitely developed me as a player," he said. "The tempo of the game, the
physical side of it; I'm getting used to all that now and more often. It
will definitely help going into next season and being more ready from the
start of it. I'm excited for it to start already. "Hopefully now I can play
in the Premier League as well, and that's the aim. It was a good first year
but now I want to kick on. It was a good first year but now I want to kick
on. Training with the first team so much in my first season has definitely
developed me as a player
"I came here and went straight into training with the first team quickly,
and I wasn't expecting that. "When I first came in, I thought that I would
be looking to impress at the Academy and earn a chance later in the season
to go with the first team, so that was huge that I was trusted to go
straight in there."

Despite the numerous inclusions in matchday squads throughout the season in
the league as well as the FA Cup, playing his part in London Stadium's
official Betway Cup opener against this season's Champions League finalists
was the highlight for the 17-year-old. "It was amazing," the youngster
recalled. "Playing at the Stadium against them was definitely one of the top
highlights. "Playing in front of so many fans was incredible. And then, of
course, we were playing Juventus themselves – they're such a big team around
the world so it was amazing. "To be down there, warming up or sitting on the
bench many other times during the season, it has been amazing for me."

Quina, who was a much sought-after talent before the Hammers snapped him up
last summer, not only impressed on the senior stage, but also with the U23
side last season. The midfielder was often instrumental for the Academy of
Football outfit, playing a huge part as they eventually won promotion to
Premier League 2 Division 1. The summer signing also caught the eye with his
stunning halfway-line strike which sailed over Leicester City U23s' keeper's
head in a Premier League Cup clash before the turn of the year. "That goal
was also a special moment," he said. "I've tried it a few times before and
I'm glad that it came off. It's been a great year for the 23s this season
for me. "I have enjoyed playing as both a No10 and a No8 in midfield, but I
think at the moment I like playing as an eight more, because I can get on
the ball more, be myself and do what I want to do. "In ten, you get the ball
less often and not all the time, and I like to have the ball and try and
affect the play. I think No8 is where in the future I see myself playing,
and hopefully for West Ham."

Written by Adam LeatherBarrow @_ldesign

Slaven Bilic faces a career changing season. His current win ratio for the
club is well below par and you can understand why he hasn't been given a new
deal. So What does Slaven need to do to save his West Ham career?

During the 2015-16 he managed to win 16 games which gave Slaven a 42.1%-win
rate, but he was given a vast amount to players to work with. That summer
the club brought in fifteen players, players such as Pedro Obiang, Dimitri
Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Darren Randolph, Angelo Ogbonna, Carl Jenkinson, Alex
Song, Michail Antonio, Nikica Jelavic and Victor Moses. Three of those
players were our stand out players last season.

A counter argument could be said that last season the club invested again in
players who were considered an "improvement" to the squad previously. We saw
a three players leave in the summer and two leave in the winters, most
significantly Dimitri Payet. But we saw the same amount of players come to
the club, players such as Feghouli, Martinez, Nordviet, Quina, Fletcher,
Masukau, Fernandes, Arbeloa, Fonte, Holland, Snodgrass, Zaza, Tore, Calleri
and Club record signing Ayew.

For Slaven to be given a new deal he has to get near his "club career" win
ratio of 49.8% – which means he needs to win 19 games of the total premier
league fixtures, bear in mind Manchester United won 18 games last season.
Along with his international jobs, it was his performances as a club head
coach that had got him the job at West Ham in the first place, although he
was the boards third choice. It's not mainly about how many points you get,
it's about winning games and the club need to win more games regularly and
be able to take control of the game and the season.

I predict that if Slaven replicates the 2015-16 season, he will be given a
new deal and hopefully continue this form to be able to qualify for Europa
League football outright. If he carries on performing like last season
despite investing in players, then it would be safe to say that Slaven Bilic
will NOT be West Ham manager for the 2018-19 season.

This season Slaven will get a FULL support until the final kick of the ball
happens in May 2018. I do hope we see the best of Bilic again and I hope we
the squad fitness is improved and tweaked by high quality players rather
than average squad fillers. With the reported £85m transfer kitty, I would
rather see 3-4 £25-30m players that are "match winners" and "game changers"
to improve the quality of the team. The club had that in Payet and we STILL
miss his performances, skill and free kicks immensely even though he left
the club on bad terms. The club do not NEED to sign fifteen players as
we've seen the past two seasons.

COYI, Arms and fingers crossed the club bring in the players to help Slaven
save his West Ham career by delivering a season to remember.


So we are approaching July and it is this month where I think we will start
to make some of our signings. I understand it has been a frustrating month
for us fans and I am as eager to see new players arrive soon as well.

For those of you that follow my updates on the radio and through my twitter
account you will know that I have said a number of times that the club are
deliberartely making news harder to obtain for most people. This is why I
believe the newspapers and some other West Ham sites are recycling transfer
news from the last windows and linking us with almost every player or just
simply making it up. This is a good thing that the news is restricted and
something that the fans hoped they would see from the club.

I am still obtaining some information though my sources but the chairman and
their family certainly are not revealing anything to anyone at this point
and so it is coming from different avenues. The departures of Oxford and
Nordtveit, that I had covered for a couple of weeks now, were finally
confirmed last week and this has freed up further wage space. We have also
released Stephen Hendrie to get him off the wage bill.

Nortveit left for around £5m with clauses taking the deal up a bit more
should they be met. He was also on £45k a week so we wanted this wage out of
our budget as soon as possible. Oxford is on £20k a week so moving quickly
to get this wage off as well helps, as well as getting him a top German club
for which there are certain agreements in place that mean he will play for
them. Oxford's performances and attitude for Reading have been questioned by
some and this is his chance to now prove he is the player he has been billed
to be. He will certainly learn defensive discipline in the German top

As I have tweeted this week I expect a number of youth team players to
follow, on loan, out of the club this window. The management team believe
that these youngsters need to prove themselves at Championship level at
least. This could mean the likes of Samuelson, Browne, Martinez, Fletcher,
Quina, Rice and Burke could all go on loan next year. Some of them will get
game time in preseason and then the judgement will be made then. Reece Burke
has been told he will go on loan again with Bolton and Birmingham showing
interest and there is also a Premier League club who have launched a bid to
buy the player. Although it hasn't been confirmed who they are I suspect
this club could be Brighton who had enquired about a couple of our defenders
recently. This is disappointing to be told this by a very reliable source as
I had hoped some of the youngsters would get a chance this coming season.
One player who I had been told could get his chance is Josh Cullen, he is
expected to play in preseason however if a top championship side come in for
him with the promise of first team football this could be a temptation for

The forward situation is a frustrating one for the club at the moment. We
have put in around 8 different bids for different forwards but at the moment
clubs are not really listening to offers until they are clear on whether
they are signing players. This can be said especially for Arsenal and
Chelsea. We want Giroud but they do not want to sell at the moment until
they sign other forwards and we also have serious competition from Lyon for
his services (Lyon is a team close to his place of birth). Giroud wants to
play regularly so he leads the French attack at the next World Cup. He is
said to be keen to stay in London too so it could be a battle between
ourselves and Lyon should Arsenal decide to sell the player. We have also
looked at Perez of the same club too but the same applies with him at the
moment in terms of transfer movement and Giroud is the preferred choice. The
Walcott story has reappeared again, I think due to the papers not having
much stories coming to them and I don't think Arsenal want to sell him
either. Should he be available we would be keen on bringing him to the club
but as yet we haven't made a move.

We still want Batshuayi but again this depends on Chelsea's business and the
competition out there. Iheanacho was a player we desperately wanted at the
start of the window and we launched a bid for him. The buyback clause has
caused a concern for us as City want to be able to buy him back for a low
buy back fee. We are worried that we will develop a player, put a lot into
this only to have to sell him back for a minimal profit should he be a
success. Other clubs are now interested but I wouldn't count us out of the
running just yet, we could return with a new offer around the buyback clause
this week.

Another transfer that may have some movement this week is Henry Onyekuru who
is expected to be granted a work permit for his move to England. A number of
clubs including Arsenal, Swansea and Birmingham are said to also be after
the player. There was talk that his club wanted him to join a more
"prestigious" club than us but that he had turned down Arsenal because he
wants to be promised first team football so it will be interesting to see
how this develops. Our interest has been lodged we will meet the release
clause fee, we will do all we can to sign the player,, so hopefully we will
be successful.

There has been a lot of links with centre backs this week, none of which I
think have any legs at this point. We did have an interest in Hart on loan
but this depends on his wages being massively reduced and there is a
possibility that Ruddy will be signed as a third keeper, as he is on a free,
having been released from Norwich. There is some talk within the club that
we could move for a midfielder now that Nordtveit has gone. If Barkley of
Everton becomes available, especially for a loan deal, we could explore that
option further into the window.

Slav has made it clear he also wants a tricky and pacey winger with Traore
of Middlesborough being the main target. He is said to have cut his holiday
short to discuss his future with 'Boro but so far we have yet to agree a
deal for him. The clubs demands are very high. Unfortunately at this time of
year this is often the case with transfers and the demands gradually lower
as the weeks go on. We made a move for Modeste for example and we told that
his club wanted over £40m for him, which is way too high for a player that
has had a few decent seasons.

Some good news is that we plan to offer new contracts to a number of players
including Lanzini and Obiang. Lanzini will be made to be one of the highest
players at the club which stands at Andy Carroll on £90k a week and Obiang
will be given a significant improvement to his contract. Andre Ayew has said
he wants to stay at the club and Kouyate's comments have been taken out of
context it seems and he is just keen to play in midfield next year and not
be a right back experiment again.

I went to the London Stadium on Friday for Robbie Williams' concert as a
treat to the wife. In fairness it was a great show and showed the stadium
off really well. Although it could be argued it is more designed for music
events then sports. Although I think time will tell on this one. I was upset
to see that the Founders Wall had been taken down as I wanted to find my
name as I never get time before the match. I have checked with the club and
this was taken down because of the various events that are taking place
there and the fear of vandalism of it from opposing fans and it should be
back for next season.

On Wednesday we had the pleasure of interviewing Kenny Brown on our radio
show and I believe it was one of the most interesting shows we have done.
Kenny spoke of the Redknapp/Bonds fall out, Joey Beauchamp, Paulo Futre,
Hutchison's sandwiches in the face, John Moncur's antics and many more
really interesting stories. He answered these questions in brilliant honesty
and showed his love for the club. If you haven't listened yet I would really
recommend you doing so, here is the link:

There is also less than two weeks until Sammy's big fight, he has sold lots
of tickets and they are going quick. Make sure you get your tickets quickly
as this is going to be a proper West Ham event. We have also donated two
tickets to Sammy to draw out to anyone that buys tickets for his fight to
our West Ham Way Pre Match events. So far we have had confirmation that
Bobby Zamora, Jack Collison, David Connolly, Kenny Brown Jnr, Alan
Devonshire and the one and only Billy Bonds will be guests next season.
Other top names are expected to confirm soon too and we will start to
confirm dates so we hope the prematch events will continue to grow in

I hope I have some more positive news to tell you all about on the radio
show on Wednesday. I am getting as frustrated as some of you but we have to
remember it is early and not many clubs have bought players yet. I hope this
doesn't replicate last year's window but at this point it is too early to
judge. We rarely sign players in June but I hope in early July we will have
players to talk about. We shall see, if anything changes I will let you know
if and when I find out. If you are interested in advertising with the site
or any of the other things that we do please get in touch as we can offer
some excellent packages with good exposure and it would help a lot with the
running of it all.

Have a great week! COYI

West Ham to take huge loss by selling Enner Valencia - but Pachuca could
hijack Tigres deal
Olly Dawes

West Ham United's Enner Valencia is reportedly set to leave the club.
According to Football.London, West Ham United are set to sell striker Enner
Valencia for just £5million, less than half of the £12million they paid
three years ago. Valencia, 27, enjoyed a stunning 2014 World Cup campaign,
scoring all three of Ecuador's goals in the competition, and those displays
earned him a big-money move to England with West Ham. The attacker, who can
play out wide or up front, impressed with his pace in his first season at
West Ham, scoring five goals in 37 games under Sam Allardyce, but he was
less of a regular under Slaven Bilic during the 2015-16 campaign. After five
goals in 23 games that season, Valencia was sent out on loan to Everton in
August, where he found the net just three time in 23 games, with the Toffees
unsurprisingly rejecting the chance to purchase him permanently. Valencia
appears to have no future under Bilic, and Football.London report that the
former Pachuca star is set for a return to Mexico, with West Ham ready to
sell him to UANL Tigres for just £5million. That's a huge loss for West Ham,
and another example of why team shouldn't just sign players based on their
World Cup displays – as the Hammers also found with Mexican winger Pablo
Barrera in 2010.
Valencia's move isn't quite so simple though, as the report adds that his
former club Pachuca are interested in re-signing him too, and could hijack
the deal at the last minute to beat rivals Tigres to the punch. That would
give Bilic a little more money to spend in the transfer market, and get more
dead wood out of the London Stadium, having already parted ways with the
likes of Alvaro Arbeloa, Gokhan Tore and Havard Nordtveit this summer.

Safe standing at the London Stadium: Will West Ham be the next to sign up
and are the fans in favour?
Damien Lucas

The Premier League is currently canvassing opinion on safe standing at
football grounds, something advocated by West Ham United co-owner David
The Hammers want to introduce safe standing at their 60,000 seater Olympic
Stadium home with co-owner Gold having held talks last September. Gold is a
big advocate for safe standing and has been involved in the process of
trying to add a non-seating section to the London Stadium to help improve
atmosphere and ensure like-minded supporters have more choice to stand
together. West Ham discussed the idea with the same company who installed
the Ferco Seating system at Celtic Park in the summer, as reported by The
Sun. Now Sky Sports has reported that West Bromwich Albion have thrown their
hat into the ring to be part of the pilot scheme. And given West Ham's
standing on the issue, they could well be next. The Premier League has
written to all 20 clubs asking if they would be interested in taking part in
a trial, which could eventually see the reintroduction of standing areas
within grounds. It is thought that the government and police forces remain
opposed to the idea on safety grounds. Sky reports a Department of Culture,
Media and Sport spokesperson said: "The government currently has no plans to
change its position and introduce standing accommodation at grounds covered
by the all-seater requirement."

Clubs in England's top two divisions have been legally required to have
all-seater grounds since the measure was recommended by the 1990 Taylor
Report into the Hillsborough disaster. The last time the issue was raised,
as previously reported by HITC, Gold said: "I have been speaking with the
people who put in the rail seating at Celtic Park. "I have been an advocate
of this for many years and it is something I am working on. "We are working
on it. I believe in it, we are in touch and we will do everything we can to
resolve the issue."
The Hammers were reportedly set to meet with the FA and Premier League about
the idea but a torrid second season under Slaven Bilic and a number of
issues with the stadium move ended up taking priority. But now with the
matter back on the agenda, West Ham could be next to sign up for the scheme.

Reece Oxford exit leaves 'The Academy' in limbo as West Ham mimic Chelsea
Evening Standard

'The Academy of Football'... that's in Germany, isn't it? Well, not quite.
But there's little doubt that Reece Oxford, West Ham's teenage starlet
defender, will benefit from the year he will spend on loan at Borussia
Monchangladbach next season - even though it appears to have unsettled some
of the supporters. If it was good enough for Rio Ferdinand to spend 10 games
at Bournemouth in 1996-97 in the old third tier, it's certainly an upgrade
for 18-year-old Oxford to add to his experience with the team which finished
fourth in the Bundesliga. He could even play in the Champions League, with
the club having qualified for the play-off round. Still, it tells you a lot
about the harsh realities of life for young hopefuls in the Premier League
that the English club, which brands itself in its marketing splurges as one
of the great young player factories, now sends its best prospects off to
learn elsewhere. For a club which hasn't won anything since 1980, talent
production has been a huge source of pride for the supporters. Now they fear
the modern game and its finance-driven priorities will cut off that
life-blood of hope.
This is the great vexed question at the top level of the English game these
days. It's why the advance of the England side to the European U21
Championship semi-final against Germany on Tuesday is prompting discussion
about whether the players involved will ever fully establish themsleves with
top domestic clubs.
And that's a debate we've already had once this season following the U20s'
triumph in the World Cup last month - so complex is the issue.

So it is at West Ham. To some unhappy supporters, the departure of Oxford
for Europe has prompted world-weary musings about his long-term future at
the club, even though he recently signed a new three-year contract. There is
a lot of excitement among those supporters about young prospects like
Domingos Quina, Reece Burke, Josh Cullen, Toni Martinez and Declan Rice. But
West Ham's policy has been to send most of them out on loan in order for
them to get the experience which is so hard for them to gain while the
competitive demands upon Premier League bosses are so intense. Of course, it
should be a tremendous opportunity in the Bundesliga for Oxford, who spent
the second half of last season at Reading - after memorably making his first
team debut as a 16-year-old at Arsenal in August, 2015. But one of the
problems here is about timing - and the enduring ability of West Ham's
owners to say things which simply wind up their own fans.
Co-chairman David Gold received a hefty amount of criticism from the fans
when he declared two months back that there will be few opportunities for
youngsters to get into the current Hammers side, despite their troubles last
season. "We all have to accept that it is extremely unlikely that a teenager
will break into a Premier League team full of seasoned internationals," Gold
tweeted in May. "Playing teenagers doesn't guarantee success. Hull came
fifth (in number of youngsters played) and got relegated. Chelsea came last
and won the league." He's not wrong. He was telling it as it is. But fans
don't like hearing it, even though all Premier League clubs are now so
wealthy they can cherry-pick ready-made, experienced players from across the

In the case of defenders like Oxford, managers are particularly unwilling to
risk raw youths at the back in such a highly physical and helter-skelter
football environment as the Premier League. Chelsea's huge successes of the
Abramovich era have been built upon a clearly-defined policy of buying
seasoned internationals rather than promotion of any homegrown products.
Their priority is to consistently win the biggest prizes. And they know
exactly how it's done.
For the supporters of clubs like West Ham, there is a difference - a
question of degree. They know their club isn't going to win anything big.
And their cup record of recent seasons suggests it will be some time before
they can think about winning anything 'small' either. So there is another
kind of satisfaction and achievement to be enjoyed if a youth player reaches
the top. It's my guess that is this has prompted the twitchiness about
Oxford's loan move. The fans want to see him in the first team. But the
nature of the Premier League and legislates against it. Bilic has given
debuts to 11 Academy graduates since he took charge. And he has said this
summer that he hopes to give more of the kids a chance. He will have to
solve English football's great Catch 22 problem to make it happen, though.

Report: West Ham submit bid for Yann Karamoh
Vincent Ralph

West Ham united are said to have made a move for the attacker. According to in France, West Ham United have made an £8.7million bid for Caen
winger Yann Karamoh, with a decision on his future expected next week. His
current club are said to have put that price tag on his head ahead of a
likely summer move, and both West Ham and German club RB Leipzig have
reportedly matched it. With just a year remaining on his current contract,
Karamoh's future looks to be away from the Lige 1 club and now he may have
to decide whether to move to the Bundesliga or the Premier League. West Ham
fans are desperate for the club to make some quality attacking signings this
summer but for now they are left fearing it could be a repeat of the 2016
summer window. Karamoh is predominantly a right winger although he can also
play up front if required, and while he is still only 18 he is fresh off the
back of his breakthrough campaign in France. The teenager featured 36 times
for Caen last season, scoring five goals and providing four assists in the
process, and were he to arrive at West Ham it would be interesting to see
where Hammers manager Slaven Bilic used him. Karamoh played all but six of
his matches last season out wide, but it is through the middle where West
Ham are in most need of additions. He may not be the big-name signing
Hammers fans are hoping for but at least the club are looking to kick on
with their business ahead of a vital second season at the London Stadium.