Wednesday, March 29

Daily WHUFC News - 29th March 2017

Mediawatch - 28 March

As the build-up to Saturday's trip to Hull City begins in earnest, we look
at the Hammers stories making this morning's papers...

Aaron Cresswell has called on the Hammers to relieve any pressure they may
be feeling by registering a result at Hull City on Saturday.

After three Premier League defeats in a row, West Ham will look to move back
towards the top half of the Premier League table with victory at the KCOM
Stadium and Cresswell knows they are capable of just that.

He told Sky Sports: "If you ask any of the players, they would say the same,
we are fully behind [the manager] and fully supportive of him. Hopefully we
can turn it around and take that pressure off everyone.

"Certainly all the lads here, the coaching staff and the manager, everyone
is giving 110 per cent.

"Of course it is not going right at the minute, we want to put that right on
Saturday. We know we haven't been good enough, especially of late, and
certainly we look forward to the Hull game."

Meanwhile, in the Evening Standard, Manuel Lanzini has hailed Mark Noble's
importance to the team.

He said: "It's very good to play alongside Nobes. It's always good to play
alongside experienced players and particularly those who are truly loved at
their clubs.

"They are the ones who can help you so much on and off the pitch."

Also in the Evening Standard, Olivier Giroud has claimed his 'scorpion kick'
goal against Crystal Palace was superior to Andy Carroll's stupendous
overhead kick against the same opposition.

We're sure Hammers fans will have something to say about that when they
visit Emirates Stadium next week!

Carroll has a fan in former Hammers man Dean Ashton, who Tweeted that
England should have called up the Big No9 for their games against Germany
and Lithuania last week.

Ashton's Tweets are picked up in the Mirror here.

Finally, with an eye on Saturday's game, Hull are expecting Michael Dawson
to return to fitness after a seven-week absence.

Hammers photographer commended

Photographer Andy Hooper commended for photo essay based on the book
Farewell to Upton Park
Daily Mail snapper won acclaim at the UK Picture Editors' Guild Awards
Hooper also named Sports Photographer of the Year for the fourth time
earlier this month

Award-winning photographer Andy Hooper has been commended for a photo essay
based on the book Farewell to Upton Park at the UK Picture Editors' Guild
Awards. Officially endorsed by the Club, Farewell to Upton Park was the
brainchild of London Stadium Season Ticket Holder and Daily Mail and
MailOnline Head of Sport Lee Clayton. Daily Mail photographer Hooper was
given exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the Boleyn Ground last season,
capturing hundreds of unique images in celebration of the Hammers' historic
home of 112 years.
The four-times Sports Photographer of the Year selected ten of the 230
photographs printed in the book for his entry in the Photo Essay of the Year
Farewell to Upton Park"It was amazing to be up against some brilliant
pictures, some of them quite haunting, and there in the middle of it all, a
photo essay of West Ham!" Hooper enthused. "Winning the Olympic Picture
of the Year was one thing, but I am incredibly proud of the achievement of
being commended in the category of Photo Essay too. "I chose ten pictures
that were used in the book and this achievement is a reflection of the
access and co-operation of everyone at the club, from Vice-Chairman Karren
Brady to the players and management and, of course, the fans. Farewell to
Upton Park has been well received and I am thrilled to have been part of

Hooper also scooped the Best Olympics Picture award for his image of the
Team GB Women's Hockey team, including West Ham United fan Susannah
Townsend, celebrating winning the Gold medal at Rio 2016. The commendation
and award completed a memorable March for Hooper, who was named Sports
Photographer of the Year for the fourth time earlier this month. For that
award, Hooper submitted a spectacular portfolio that included the Team GB
Women's Hockey celebration, Andy Murray celebrating victory in the Men's
Singles final at Wimbledon and Jamie Vardy's reaction to being sent-off in
Leicester City's 2-2 Premier League draw with the Hammers in April 2016.

*Farewell to Upton Park – The Official Celebration of West Ham United's Home
– 1904–2016, published by Octopus Publishing Group Ltd, is available to buy
from the Official Online Store now, priced at £25.

Feghouli dreams of World Cup return

Sofiane Feghouli wants to represent Algeria at his second FIFA World Cup
Winger scored for the Desert Warriors as the North Africans reached the
Round of 16 in 2014
Algeria sit bottom of their qualifying group and need to hit top form to
reach Russia 2018

Sofiane Feghouli dreams of representing Algeria at his second FIFA World Cup
finals – but admits reaching Russia 2018 will be 'very difficult'. The West
Ham United winger was one of the stars of the show as the Desert Warriors
reached the Round of 16 in 2014 before being edged out after extra-time by
eventual champions Germany. Now, Feghouli, who scored against Belgium in the
group-stage as Algeria reached the knockout stage for the first time three
years ago, has his sights set on next summer's finals. However, the North
Africans will need to up their game if they are to qualify from a group that
also includes Nigeria, Cameroon and Zambia, as they sit bottom with one
point from two matches. Algeria do not return to qualifying action until
September, when they host Zambia in what will arguably be a must-win tie for
a nation currently without a permanent head coach. "I think the World Cup is
the very best competition in terms of the feelings and emotions that it
generates," Feghouli began. "If you haven't played in it, you can't know
exactly what it means. I was lucky enough to play in it in 2014 and Algeria
played very well. It was a dream come true for millions of Algerians and we
made history by reaching the last 16 for the first time. "We played a
historic tie against Germany in which we were on the verge of knocking them
out. I was very happy and proud to take part in that incredible adventure.
"I'd like to play in it again in 2018, although it will be very difficult to

With 42 caps and eleven goals for his country, Feghouli is a hero in his
homeland, where he is lauded alongside the likes of Leicester City pair
Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez, Porto's Yacine Brahimi and Dinamo Zagreb's
El Arabi Hillel Soudani. Wherever he goes, and particularly when he returns
to the North African country for international duty, the Hammers No7 is
revered by Algerian supporters.
"When I was young, I'd watch all the Algerian players that plied their trade
all over Europe, not that there were that many," he recalled. "I always
tried to keep up with how they were getting on at their respective clubs.
"Now that I'm a professional footballer, it's the opposite. There are
Algerians who keep tabs on me and I still follow the other Algerians who
play in Europe. The country has a population of 40 million. "Football is the
number one sport there and we're really big football fans, especially when
it comes to the national team."

We're all backing Bilic, says Cresswell
Filed: Tuesday, 28th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

Aaron Cresswell insists that the entire first team squad are behind Slaven
Bilic, following reports that his position may be under threat.

In recent weeks both Roberto Mancini and Jaap Stam have been linked with
Bilic's job, following West Ham' poor recent run of form.

However left-back Cresswell - who has struggled to find his own form in
recent months - maintains that Bilic retains the support of every one of his

If you ask any of the players, they would say the same - we are fully behind
him and fully supportive of him," the full back told Sky Sports. "Hopefully
we can turn it around and take that pressure off everyone.

"Of course it is not going right at the minute and we want to put that right
on Saturday. We know we haven't been good enough, especially of late, and
certainly we look forward to the Hull game.

"Certainly all the lads here, the coaching staff and the manager, everyone
is giving 110 per cent."

Cresswell also gave his backing to the potential signing of former England
captain Wayne Rooney, who has been linked with a summer move to the Olympic

"He has arguably been one of the best strikers over the last 15 years and
the things he has done, certainly for England, is fantastic," he added. "If
he was to come here, that would be fantastic for us, but who knows?"

Are West Ham eager for Iker?
Filed: Tuesday, 28th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

Spanish legend Iker Casillas could be on his way to England this summer
after he expressed a desire to play in the Premier League.

The 35-year-old stopper made more than 500 appearances for Real Madrid and
played nearly 170 times for Spain before moving to Porto in July 2015.

Out of contract this summer (although Porto retain the option to extend his
two-year deal by a further 12 months), it was thought that Marseille were
front runners to land Casillas on a two-year contract at the end of the

However journalist Don Balon has claimed that Casillas is keen on trying his
luck in England's top flight instead - preferably with a London club. And
whilst Balon adds that Chelsea or Arsenal would top his list of favoured
destinations, only West Ham and Arsenal are said to have been notified of
Casillas' availability at this point.

Manchester City's on-loan stopper Joe Hart has been linked with a potential
summer move to the Olympic Stadium for some considerable time, having been
sent out on loan to Torino for the season by incoming Citizens manager Pep
Guardiola last summer.

West Ham's current goalkeepers are Adrian, who is out of contract this
summer (although the club retain a two-year option) and Darren Randolph, who
has been first choice since the Spaniard was dropped by Slaven Bilic
following a series of high-profile blunders last year.


Every weekend I say to myself, "video assistant referees (VAR) couldn't come
sooner". In March 2016, the IFAB approved a 2 year experiment for video
assistant referee or otherwise known as VAR and it was a historic decision
for the world of Football, FIFA and the IFAB.

There is no doubt in my mind that this decision was overdue. The pace of the
game has changed and it's getting increasingly difficult for a referee to
make the correct decisions. VAR is available to assist the referee and not
to take the control away from the referee. There are four areas that the VAR
will assist with: Goal scored (outside the goal-line technology), penalty
decisions, direct red cards and mistaken identity, all of which can change a
game dramatically.

During the year of VAR being approved, a referee in the FIFA Club World Cup
was the first referee to use VAR and award a penalty. Before the historic
trial, IFAB set up its first workshop in Amsterdam and in the USA which
focused on referee education, allowing referees to work first hand with VAR
and understand how VAR and referees communicate during a live game.

In August 2016, IFAB set up a VAR training centre at the home of FIFA in
Switzerland and in September 2016, hosted a seminar inviting the best
referees in the world which included Dutchman Bjorn Kuipers and the FA's
very own Mark Clattenburg.
The FIFA and IFAB organised 20+ matches which included live competitive
matches in USA and Holland as well as two international friendlies in Italy.
The most important trail was during the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan when
for the very first time VAR was used during the entire tournament. This
allowed not only the referees to understand and get used to officiating with
the option to use VAR, but it also allowed the technical companies to look
at how the technology is used in a live game.

In 2018/19, the IFAB will make a decision on whether to introduce VAR into
other football. The FA have been keen to express their desire to test the
new technology in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in January 2018. This would be
a historic day in football history and the FA as the Premier League was the
first league to introduce this in December 2013.
I think its important to understand that VAR is not being introduced to make
a referees job obsolete but it will be there to accompany and reassure the
referee to help to come to the right decision. I've said on many occasions
that the standard of refereeing has fallen since Howard Webb retired back in
2014 and hopefully VAR will help improve the standard.
Written by @SamRoyden

What's up with the new guys?
Filed: Tuesday, 28th March 2017
By: Adam Smith

A promising set-piece master and a staunch centre back, two players West Ham
desperately needed to plug holes in their team.

Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte were both prominent and leading players in
their clubs, situated lower that West Ham in the table, and were plucked to
help the Hammers straighten their course for the remainder of the season.
But why has their transition been challenged when joining West Ham in the
January transfer window?

It should be noted, this article has nothing to do with the future of Slaven
Bilic as manager, or of the transfer window success but is just a directed
look at performance of Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass after joining West
Ham United.

Starting with Jose Fonte, the rumours of the Southampton defender and
skipper joining West Ham divided the fan base. Many believed our third
centre back was and should remain fan-favourite and Welsh international
James Collins. A tough, physical defender who excels at defending set
pieces, Collins, affectionately referred to as 'Ginger Pele' had endeared
fans to him after his dedication and general attitude towards the club in
his two lengthy spells with the team.

The critics who wished to look internally towards Collins also saw Fonte as
a 33-year-old defender, the same as Collins. With football following suit
with most every other sport, the pinnacle age for players is lowering
drastically. This came as perhaps an unfair knock against Fonte, however it
still is valid point in understanding why a club who had a functional
central defender on the bench would bring in another at an increased age.

With a seemingly triumphant 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough, it emerged that
Angelo Ogbonna had been playing through a knee injury and would now require
season-ending surgery. The Fonte signing seemed to make sense now as he has
taken up the centre back position with Winston Reid at his side. The
transition for Fonte was anything but smooth in the squad as his play in
West Ham's back line has not been up to his own quality.

While Fonte's resume is impressive, it has not translated to quick success
at West Ham. Coming off a Euro Cup win with Portugal, Fonte appeared to be
the veteran centre back that Reid could rely on and that the like of Reece
Oxford could learn from. However, Fonte has been lacklustre and appears a
step behind when defending for West Ham.

Flashes of brilliance are certainly there, however Fonte has not been able
to string together much success in recent weeks, outside of intermittent
classy tackles.

Fonte's debut for West Ham was a home match against Manchester City in which
the Hammers produced an uninspired performance and lost 4-0. Fonte was far
from to blame for the match, however he did bring down Raheem Sterling,
resulting in a Yaya Toure penalty. In a season now in shambles, Fonte was
expected to be a calming influence in defence, a mission maybe determined to
fail from the outset.

Robert Snodgrass is similar to Fonte, but perhaps more disappointing.
Scoring seven goals in the Premier League for an abysmal Hull City side,
Snodgrass was involved in most attacking play prior to the move to West Ham.
The scoring touch has been elusive for Snodgrass at West Ham as he is yet to
find the net and has been passed by the likes of Andre Ayew on the goals
scored chart.

The gap Snodgrass was brought in to fill was very apparent. With Dimitri
Payet gone, Snodgrass was to be the new set -piece taker and the playmaking
midfielder to find Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll who would supply the
goals. This has not been the case.

Manuel Lanzini has appeared to step into the Payet hole and done so
magnificently in recent weeks, freezing Kasper Schmeichel in his place on a
near perfect free kick in West Ham's 3-2 loss to Leicester City. So where
does that leave Snodgrass?

As mentioned, Ayew appears to have leapt above him in the battle to play on
the right wing. This position would have been tailor-made for Snodgrass to
crosses in, and cut inside making space for his world class shot that he had
shown off at Hull earlier this year. Lack of immediate success has seen him
lose this spot.

Drawing in on injury in the Leicester game saw him return to his natural
position, leaning on Sam Byram to make plays down the wing. Snodgrass surely
should be the choice over Sofiane Feghouli in the upcoming weeks, however he
may need to rely on injury to find a spot in the starting eleven.

So what is to blame for the recent performances of Fonte and Snodgrass? One
reason could be the early defensive lapses that seem to ruin most games for
the Hammers. Fonte has been under immense pressure from attacking opposition
due to horrible team and individual defence. Snodgrass has played into this,
as Fonte has, but this could be a result of poor training intensity, or
unwillingness to address the glaring problems that have torn West Ham apart
in recent matches denying the team the ability to start with pace.

On a related note, the revolving door at right back that has featured
Cheikhou Kouyate more than it has natural right back Sam Byram could also be
to blame for West Ham's current style of play. Kouyate is accustomed to
playing higher up the pitch but he seems to miss assignments on the
defensive end, forcing Fonte to cover both right and centre back.

Early goals have been a result of indecision in the West Ham defence,
including a ridiculously high amount of penalties conceded by the mishmash
of defenders. Falling behind early has forced the players to abandon the
game plan in the infancy of matches, and ramp up the attacking intensity at
the detriment of team defending in order to drag themselves back into games.

Without touching on the most recent social media witch-hunt surrounding West
Ham, tactics seems to be something that need addressing for West Ham's
attack, in particular for Snodgrass. The middle of the attacking midfield
where Snodgrass has success at Hull now belongs to Lanzini. But there has
been no effort to accommodate Snodgrass' play style regardless of Lanzini's
slotting in.

The management team had targeted Snodgrass as an effective, offensive force
but are not fully utilising his presence on the pitch. West Ham have not had
success this season yet there seems to be an unreasonable attachment to the
formation and attack that Bilic & Co. have employed all year.

What could remedy the woes of both Fonte and Snodgrass could be the current
World Cup Qualification break. Fonte gets to return to reigning Euro Cup
champions Portugal and train with and against Ronaldo. Fonte recently kept a
clean sheet against Hungary in a 3-0 win which saw him play the full match
at centre back. By all accounts he defended well and even managed a shot in
the match.

Snodgrass also represented Scotland this week. On a different level than
Portugal, the Scots must embrace grit and determination to fuel their team
to attainable success. These are traits that define Snodgrass, as I have
examined in a previous article. Snodgrass gets to be 'The Man' at Scotland
much like he was at Hull, and have the attack flow through him, rather than
have him act as a role player at West Ham.

Scotland beat Slovenia 1-0, scoring in the 88th minute after Snodgrass had
left the match, however the Scots statistically dominated the match.
Snodgrass accumulated two shots, eight crosses, and seven corners in 75
minutes of play.

The next step for the new guys has to be stepping up and pushing excuses
away to perform for their new club. Both Fonte and Snodgrass can benefit
from the three injuries that West Ham suffered against Leicester and they
need to embrace the opportunity. For their sake, the hope must be that the
management team can adapt the stagnant tactics to maximise their skills and
fulfill their potential.

West Ham players fully behind Slaven Bilic, says Aaron Cresswell
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 28/03/17 7:39am

Aaron Cresswell insists Slaven Bilic has the full support of the West Ham
dressing room, amid speculation the Hammers manager could be replaced in the
summer. The Hammers travel to relegation-threatened Hull City on Saturday
off the back of three successive Premier League defeats and are without a
win since February 4. Co-chairman David Sullivan publicly apologised to the
club's supporters following the 3-2 home defeat to Leicester on March 18 and
insisted the next few games would be "vital" for their season.
A report in the Sunday Mirror has since claimed Bilic could be replaced at
the end of the campaign by Reading manager Jaap Stam, but Cresswell is
backing the Croatian. "If you ask any of the players, they would say the
same, we are fully behind him and fully supportive of him. Hopefully we can
turn it around and take that pressure off everyone," the left-back told Sky
Sports News HQ. "He is positive and passionate about his job. He is bubbly
around the place and wants to stay in a positive mood and, as players,
that's what we want. "There's no point being negative about the defeats that
we've had."

Cresswell added: "Certainly all the lads here, the coaching staff and the
manager, everyone is giving 110 per cent. "Course it is not going right at
the minute, we want to put that right on Saturday. We know we haven't been
good enough, especially of late, and certainly we look forward to the Hull
game. "We're going to train hard for the next few days and prepare well for
the game."

Meanwhile, Cresswell has revealed he would welcome England and Manchester
United captain Wayne Rooney to the London Stadium. Sky sources understand
West Ham would be interested in signing Rooney if the forward is allowed to
leave Old Trafford in the summer.
"He has arguably been one of the best strikers over the last 15 years and
the things he has done, certainly for England, is fantastic," he said. "If
he was to come here, that would be fantastic for us, but who knows?"

Aaron Creswell wants West Ham to reach 40-point mark as soon as possible
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 27/03/17 7:41pm

West Ham United need to dispel any thoughts of Premier League relegation by
reaching the 40-point mark as soon as possible, according to left-back Aaron
Cresswell. The Hammers are currently 12th in the table having picked up only
33 points, in stark contrast to this time last season when they were riding
high in fifth with 16 more points to their name. Slaven Bilic's side went on
to finish the 2015/16 campaign in seventh, but while Cresswell feels the
club overachieved last season, he still wants them to get as close to that
figure as possible in their remaining nine games. "We want to get to that
40-point mark sooner rather than later," Cresswell told Sky Sports. "But
looking at last year, we finished seventh with 62 points and you could
arguably say we overachieved last season. "But we want to get close to that,
or as close as we can to get close to that, and with nine games to go, let's
see what happens. "It is not going to be one of them where we give up, we
are going to fight to the end and try and get as many points on the board as
we can and push further up that table."

With West Ham currently in the bottom half of the table, questions about
Bilic's future at the London Stadium have surfaced, with some reports on the
weekend even claiming Reading boss Jaap Stam was being lined up to replace
the Croat. However, West Ham's players are all behind their manager - whose
contract runs until the summer of 2018 - says Cresswell. "I can't speak
highly enough of the gaffer, he has been fantastic with me and you ask any
of the players and they will say exactly the same," he said. "We are fully
behind him and supportive of him and hopefully we can turn it around and
take that pressure off him. "He is positive and passionate about his job, he
is bubbly around the place, he wants to stay in a positive mood, and as
players that is what we want. "There is no point being negative about the
defeats we have had, of course we know it is not good enough, but we want to
get those wins on the board and push further up the table."

The Hammers still need another seven points to reach the holy grail of 40,
starting with Saturday afternoon's tricky-looking trip to take on struggling
Hull City at the KCOM Stadium. Having lost 3-2 to Leicester at home in their
last league fixture before the international break, Cresswell says he and
his team-mates are desperate to now put that right this weekend. "As a
player, you want to play the next day now obviously after getting beat," he
said. "But an international break comes and you obviously have to wait two
weeks and you can't rectify it. So it is a little bit disappointing, but we
have to go again now on Saturday. "But you want the whole squad back as soon
as you can to get together and rectify the defeat against Leicester as soon
as you can and look forward and prepare for the Hull game now. "As players,
as long as we give all we've got and 110 per cent week in, week out, and be
as professional as we can, that is all we can do. And certainly all the lads
here, the coaching staff, manager, everyone is giving 100 per cent. "Of
course it is not going right at the minute and we want to put that right on
Saturday, we know we have not been good enough, especially of late. And we
are certainly looking forward to the Hull game, we will train hard the next
few days and prepare well for the game. "There is no easy game in the
Premier League, especially away from home and against a club like Hull who
are fighting, they are going to give everything for their manager, they are
on a decent little run since the manager took over and we certainly know it
is not going to be easy. "But it is a place that we are going to prepare all
week for and hopefully have a good start and get the three points."

If Cresswell can maintain his impressive form since returning from a knee
injury in October, then the full-back could even add to the solitary England
cap he won against Spain last November. "I am only 27 years old, I had a
major setback at the start of the season," he said. "But I have come back
from that and am alright, then got the England call-up, which was a proud
moment for me. And I will never give up on that dream. "All you can do is
give your all for West Ham, you want to perform well first and foremost and
Gareth [Southgate] will be watching the games. "And that is where he will
see you, he will not see you in training, so you have to perform in the
games to warrant a place in the England squad."

West Ham FC transfer report: Hammers linked with £8.6m swoop for Hoffenheim
midfielder Steven Zuber
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

West Ham are in talks with Bundesliga side Hoffenheim regarding a potential
deal for midfielder Steven Zuber, according to reports. The Hammers are said
to be ready to pay £8.6m for the 25-year-old Switzerland international.
Hoffenheim are keen to keep hold of their star asset and are expected to
hold out for a bigger fee. Zuber has caught the eye in Germany this season,
scoring three times, as his side battle to finish in the Champions League
places. A potential campaign in Europe's top club competition could throw
the move into some doubt, though, meaning the Hammers would need to look
elsewhere for summer acquisitions.

West Ham star Reece Oxford will still have to settle for bench spot at
The youngster has endured a very tough loan spell at the Royals
Football London
15:00, 28 MAR 2017

Don't expect Reece Oxford to be starting games for Reading any time soon.
That's coming from our source close to the Royals, who has told it's unlikely that Oxford will be breaking into the play-off
chasers starting eleven any time soon. The teenager has endured a
frustrating loan spell at the Madjeski Stadium, having joined the
Championship outfit in January on loan from the Hammers for six months.
Oxford belatedly made his debut in a 3-0 defeat at Preston North End from
the substitutes bench and was brought on in the 94th minute against
Sheffield Wednesday, with the Royals 2-0 up. The 18-year-old has seen more
action for the England U19s in recent days than he has in the Championship.
He got 20 minutes off the bench in England's 3-0 win over Spain last
Wednesday and then got 90 minutes under his belt on Friday in another 3-0
win over Belarus.
It's well known that Slaven Bilic is less than impressed with the lack of
game time for Oxford at Reading, with Jaap Stam - recently linked with
Bilic's job - prefers former Manchester United defender Tyler Blackett and
Joey van den Berg as his first choice centre back pairing. Our source told
us: "Reece got some game time but it's highly unlikely he will be starting
games now that he finally made his debut. "Oxford was essentially brought in
as injury cover for the centre backs and now they are all fit again, expect
the West Ham kid to stay as a bench player."

West Ham United could come to the rescue of Ghanaian Timothy Fosu-Mensah
Published on: 28 March 2017

West Ham United have one of the most talented and versatile players of his
age in the form of Reece Oxford, and Hammers supporters will be hoping the
18-year-old gets regular chances to impress next season.

But West Ham manager Slaven Bilic would be wise to also consider a loan move
for a 19-year-old who could be every bit as effective as Oxford in the years
to come.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah has barely featured for Manchester United since Jose
Mourinho took charge, and while his time will come at Old Trafford, it would
be no surprise to see him head out for a temporary spell elsewhere this

Even with Oxford back in their ranks, West Ham would benefit from signing
the versatile Dutch teenager, who can play at right-back, left-back,
centre-back or in the middle of the park.

It is at right-back where he could be needed the most, and a loan move
rather than a permanent signing would also allow Sam Byram another year to
stake a claim to become the undisputed number one at the London Stadium.

Fosu-Mensah may be young but he regularly played above his age level while
coming through the ranks and he is a superb talent, now ready to start week
in, week out in the Premier League.

West Ham could offer him that chance, and his versatility means he could
also act as back-up to the under-performing Aaron Cresswell and step into a
midfield that has been bogged down by the below-par performances of Mark
Noble this season.

It would be a win-win for all concerned and West Ham should get there before
someone else does.


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