Wednesday, June 7

Daily WHUFC News - 7th June 2017

Melbourne Hammers excited by Manuel Lanzini and Argentina visit

Melbourne Hammers chairperson Katrina Webb cannot wait to see Manuel Lanzini in her home city
The eyes of West Ham United fans will be focused downwards on Friday, when Manuel Lanzini is set to make his Argentina debut against Brazil in Melbourne, Australia. The skilful midfielder earned his maiden call-up to La Albiceleste after producing an outstanding season in Claret and Blue, during which he scored eight goals in 35 impressive Premier League appearances. Now, Lanzini is set to feature alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala when Jorge Sampaoli's squad take on their arch rivals at the MCG on Friday at 11.05am BST. One fan who will have huge interest in the international friendly is Katrina Webb, an Australian chef who also happens to be the chairperson of the Melbourne Hammers supporters' club. "Ever since Manuel Lanzini was named in the squad for Argentina to play against Brazil, quite a few Melbourne Hammers have been scrambling for tickets to see him play," she revealed. "There has been a few people shocked to see him named in the squad but, in my opinion, I'd say he's a good pick and his inclusion will definitely going to bring a few Hammers fans out to the game. "I think that having a Hammer playing in a game this big is going to put West Ham in the spotlight both here in Australia, in Argentina and across the world. I hope Manu has a good game on the night!"

Webb herself has been a Hammer since watching her now beloved team come up agonisingly short in the 2006 FA Cup final against Liverpool.
"I didn't know much at all back then other than every man and his dog supported Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea," she recalled. "For this reason I decided that night I was supporting West Ham because I have never been one to follow the crowd or support a team because they had money or fame. Since that night I've been a Hammer."

Webb has since immersed herself in all things Claret and Blue, travelling to England 'several times' to watch West Ham in action. She also made the much shorter trip to New Zealand when the Hammers visited for a two-match tour in summer 2014. "I got to meet the team and some Hammers I've come to know over the years, through Facebook, who had travelled over from England," she continued. "I saw my first game at Upton Park against Manchester City in 2014, then in the final season there I was in London for a month and went to the Swansea home game and Stoke away with some of the boys on a coach, which was sensational!"

Webb was also in town on 10 May 2016, when she joined tens of thousands of her fellow Hammers in east London for the final matchday at the Boleyn Ground. "I did the rounds with some of the old boys who have been going to games their entire life, spent the day in The Vic in Plaistow and then watched the game in The Stanley," she reminisced. "The number of people there was amazing and the atmosphere was electric."

Webb's fantastic West Ham story does not end there, however, as she revealed the amazing story behind how she met her partner and fellow Hammer Ren. "I met him through the Hammers supporters' groups page on Facebook a few years ago!" she said. "He's a Sydney Hammer who's originally from New Zealand."

The 35-year-old's two sons Jack, five, and Tyler, four, are also West Ham fans, but daughter Chelsea, ten, opted to support her namesake club. Webb's extended West Ham family is even bigger, with more than 600 supporters signed up to the Melbourne Hammers Facebook group – a number that, thanks to her hard work, keeps on growing. "I've put my heart and soul into running the Melbourne Hammers group over the last few years and made lots of connections with people at the Club and also other fans based in London," she concluded. "Most Aussie fans come to me for advice on tickets and pubs when they travel over for games. "All of us will be keeping our focus a bit closer to home on Friday, though, when we hope our little Jewel sparkles in our own fantastic city!"

Aaron Cresswell enjoys 'brilliant' Royal Marines training experience with England

Aaron Cresswell says he and his England teammates are ready to face the Auld Enemy after spending the weekend at the Royal Marines' Commando Training Centre. England manager Gareth Southgate took the Three Lions, including the West Ham United full-back, to Devon for 48 hours, where they changed into their military uniforms and experienced an array of activities that Royal Marines recruits undertake, including a night camping on Woodbury Common. Cresswell told he and his England squad-mates enjoyed the challenges presented by the surprise change in environment, and that the team-bonding weekend will stand them in good stead when they take on Scotland at Hampden Park on Saturday. "We were out in the middle of nowhere, all kitted out in the Royal Marines gear and undertaking the training like a Marine recruit," the No3 confirmed. "We had to cook our own food on a campfire and live out in the woods, which was brilliant!
"We also did a few different training courses, working together as one team to pull each other through different exercises. "It definitely helped bring everybody in the squad closer, living in a different environment and doing thing no one was used to! Having no mobile phones was also something which took some getting our heads around!"

The Commando Training Centre's commandant, Colonel Mike Tanner, said he and his staff enjoyed working with Cresswell and company. "It has been a real pleasure," he said. "They threw themselves into every challenge with enthusiasm and good humour. "The Royal Marines and England football team have much in common and the opportunity to share experience was valuable for us all. "We are confident that this will be the start of a long and successful relationship."

England have now returned to their St George's Park training headquarters, where Southgate will continue the squad's preparations for this weekend's FIFA World Cup qualifier in Glasgow. The Three Lions go into the tie sitting top of Group F, six points ahead of the fourth-placed Scots – who will almost certainly include West Ham winger Robert Snodgrass in their side – with five of the ten qualifying matches still to be played. Victory at Hampden Park would therefore give England's qualification chances a huge boost and Cresswell, for one, cannot wait for Saturday's 5pm kick-off, which will be screened live in the UK by ITV and Sky Sports. "Obviously, it's a massive game against Scotland, as it always has been down the years with all the history between the two teams and the two countries," he observed. "It will be good to see Snods, but at the end of the day we want the win and to give ourselves the best possible chance of topping the group and getting to the World Cup in Russia. "The atmosphere will be brilliant, as it was when I was on the bench when Scotland played at Wembley last November, so I am really looking forward to it, that's for sure!"

U10s win Premier League National Tournament

West Ham United U10s reigned victorious at the Premier League's National Football Tournament last week.

The young stars had already won a prestigious indoor tournament in the Netherlands in January and they added the National Football Tournament to their 2016/17 trophy haul.

The tournament was part of a huge week of competition for the Premier League who hosted 24 teams competing across 97 matches.

U10The Hammers topped a competitive Group B after winning five of their seven matches and ended with 16 points. The group featured the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.

Topping the group resulted in automatic qualification to the semi-finals where the Hammers met Fulham. In a tight contest, West Ham edged out the Cottagers by two goals to one.

The final against Derby County was even closer than the semi-final. The two sides could not be separated after normal time.

The young Irons managed to prevail 5-4 on penalties and lift another trophy to cap off a great season.

There was more reason to cheer once the competition ended when Louie Copley was awarded Player of the Tournament.

Nordtveit eager to finish season on a high with Norway

Havard Nordtveit's season is far from over yet.

The West Ham United midfielder still has a couple of big targets on his mind as he aims to end the 2016/17 campaign on a high with Norway.

While the Norwegians' FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign may have begun with four defeats from five starts, Nordtveit is keen to hit the ground running under new coach Lars Lagerback – the man who led Iceland to the UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-finals last summer.

Nordtveit concedes that this qualification phase has already passed his country by, but says Saturday's Oslo meeting with Czech Republic – followed by a friendly against Scandinavian neighbours Sweden on Tuesday – offer an important opportunity to start building towards Euro 2020.

The 26-year-old midfielder said: "With the new coach of the national team, we need to get the formation in for what we wants, what he did with Iceland and start to get ready for the next qualification process.

"The country deserves [qualification for a tournament] and if we get time with Lars Lagerback we have a big chance to qualify for the Euros in 2020.

"We need to be patient, but we also need to look ourselves in the mirror and say we need to be better than we've shown in the latest qualification games.

Havard Nordtveit battles for possession against Stoke City"What he did with Iceland was unbelievable. They have a population of 350,000 and although we have 4.5-5m, we're still quite a small nation, so we need to get the crowd behind us and he's the one to lead us into that situation.

"We need to play a little bit more aggressively as a team, and be more stable defensively than we ever have been."

The friendly against Sweden also gives Nordtveit and his teammates a chance to restore a little national pride against their local rivals.

He added: "Sweden is the biggest derby for us as a national team. It goes a long way back, so it's going to be good fun. I hope there will be a lot of people at the Ulleval Stadium and we want to give a good performance.

"These two games are good for playing time hopefully and then I'll be ready for pre-season again.

"Last pre-season I struggled and was probably 50% away with small injuries, so hopefully I will have a more stable pre-season this year, which will make it easier when the new season starts."

Manuel Lanzini named KUMB Player of the Year
Filed: Tuesday, 6th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

Manuel Lanzini has been crowned as's Player of the Year.

The Argentinian attacking midfielder beat Hammer of the Year Michail Antonio to the award by just six per cent of all votes, taking 42 per cent of readers' nominations to Antonio's 36 per cent.

Meanwhile Edimilson Fernandes was named as KUMB's Young Player of the Year, beating Josh Cullen and Toni Martinez into second and third place respectively. The Swiss midfielder was also named as KUMB readers' Best Signing, ahead of Athur Masuaku (runner up) and Adre Ayew (third place).

In our other categories, Andy Carroll's overhead kick against Crystal Palace was named as KUMB's Goal of the Season and the 1-0 win over Tottenham as your Most Memorable Match. Pedro Obiang, who came third in the Player of the Year category wins the Most Imporved Player award.

Our readers' rogues gallery this year consists of Gokhan Tore (Worst Player), Simone Zaza (Worst Signing), Dimitri Payet (Hackett of the Year) and Leaving Upton Park (Greatest Disappointment).

To see the results of our 20th annual awards in full, and all previous season's results stretching back to 1997, visit our KUMB Awards section.


After breaking into the West Ham first-team early in the 2015/16 season, the expectation was that this was the start of Reece Oxford's ascent to becoming not only a regular for the Hammers but a rise through the ranks at international level.

However, an ankle injury derailed his progress last autumn and he was then sent out on loan to Reading where he played a bit-part role under Jaap Stam as the Royals lost out to Huddersfield on penalties in the Championship play-off final.

West Ham want to send the versatile 18-year-old out on loan for the 2017/18 so he can play some regular games and return to the London Stadium next year ready to make his mark on the first-team.

Borussia Monchengladbach will be seeing another London loanee in Andreas Christensen return to their parent club Chelsea this summer and are eager to bring in Oxford as a replacement, and like the Christensen deal, they want this to be a two-year loan move for the teenager, according to Bild.

That being said, West Ham are only interested in allowing Oxford to go for one season before reassessing his situation in a years time. The report states that there's optimism on both sides that an agreement can and will be reached.

Monchengladbach have illustrated that they are a great foster home for developing talent and the opportunity to play in the Bundesliga would be a brilliant learning experience for a young player like Oxford who can play in midfield or at the heart of the defence.

A Mounie and Iheanacho strike partnership could work wonders for West Ham
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United have reportedly joined the race for Steve Mounie and also look set to sign Kelechi Iheanacho.

According to a report from the Mirror, West Ham United are interested in signing £13million-rated Steve Mounie this summer, and if the Hammers partner him with another alleged target - Kelechi Iheanacho - they could have one of the most exciting and effective strike partnerships in the top flight.

As reported by Sky Sports earlier this month, West Ham have opened talks with Manchester City regarding a prospective move for the latter, and now it seems the Hammers are keen to completely transform their forward line.

That would go down a storm at the London Stadium, and while Iheanacho possesses the raw talent and innate ability in front of goal to become a West Ham fan favourite in no time, Mounie is no slouch himself.

Still only 22, Mounie scored 15 goals in 38 matches for Montpellier last season and for the price being touted he could represent considerable value for money.

The Benin international is only going to improve in the years ahead, and if West Ham can beat the competition to his signature and also secure a deal for Iheanacho, their manager Slaven Bilic would suddenly have a very strong forward line at his disposal, with Andy Carroll also available to him when fit.

Once Michail Antonio returns from injury West Ham could be a real domestic force, and while work would still need to be done in midfield and defence, there would be plenty of rivals looking enviously at the Hammers' striking options.

Mounie's price tag shows there are still bargains to be had in an otherwise inflated market. However West Ham supporters will not be celebrating just yet, with plenty of work to be done behind the scenes before one deal, let along both, is concluded.

Why the time has come for West Ham to cash in on Andy Carroll and move on
Instead of helping, Carroll is now holding West Ham back
Football London
13:17, 6 JUN 2017UPDATED13:30, 6 JUN 2017

Back in January 2014, with West Ham coming fresh off back-to-back cup defeats in which they shipped 11 goals and scored none, under-pressure manager Sam Allardyce was granted a boost with the return of Andy Carroll.

The striker was yet to play since making his loan move from Liverpool permanent, having joined with an injury, but he came off the bench against Cardiff and laid on the clincher in a 2-0 win with a perfectly-weighted through-ball for Mark Noble in the closing stages.

That 20-minute cameo summed up the reason why Andy Carroll has been so important to West Ham United. It also explains why he needs to be sold.

Carroll has spent five seasons at West Ham, during which time he has never played more than 75% of the club's league games. For that to be the case a couple of years in a row would be cause for concern, but a first choice striker being absent so often causes problems for the entire squad. Problems which are entirely avoidable.

For far too long there has been a tendency to overlook other issues with the squad on the grounds that, when Carroll returns from his latest injury, all will be good as new. And, worryingly, he has done enough to give sporadic evidence to support that argument but not enough to provide certainty that a fit and firing Carroll will cure all of the club's ills.

In the 2016/17 season, the former Liverpool man scored seven league goals. It can be a little reductive to ignore his impact elsewhere on the pitch, but the fact remains that – if you took away those goals from the games in question – West Ham would have ended the campaign just two points worse off. That stat, incidentally, refers to the only time all season he struck more than once in the same game, in January's 3-1 victory at Middlesbrough.

The 1-0 victory at home to Tottenham and the late 3-2 defeat at White Hart Lane, two of the most impressive team performances of the season, came without Carroll in the squad. They demonstrate that the club can perform without the big man up front, and indeed there can still occasionally be a tendency to change to a more direct approach when he is involved.

To operate on the mindset that the return of one man can paper over cracks is both a disservice to the quality elsewhere in the squad and a convenient excuse to ignore other areas which do need attention.

Shifting Carroll last season would have allowed the board to push ahead with a move for a proven striker capable of putting together a consistent run of games rather than effectively pausing any forward momentum with the intention of flicking the Carroll switch for that quick attacking endorphin boost four or five times a season. It's not healthy to rely on a player to give you the equivalent of a new manager bounce, especially not a player who may be better than the alternatives but is not substantially so.

Of course, there is no guarantee that a new investment will stay fit themselves – just look at Andre Ayew's debut injury – but there is a difference between that and having a player for whom injury-related absences are just part and parcel of their presence in the squad. There remains a sense that some felt there was no need to go all out on a big-money striker because Carroll was on the payroll, prompting the club to bring in two strikers on loan and one on a free transfer, with predictable results.

If West Ham can recoup the £15m it took to bring Carroll to London from Anfield, and perhaps a little more on top given the inflated market, it is hard to argue against parting ways with the England international.

A new permanent striker with a remit of being the main man – rather than the softly-softly approach afforded to Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri – would allow the club to begin the next season with a settled starting XI, and if there's a chance to wrap up business early that would be even better.

It may be the case that Carroll moves on, stays fit and tears up the Premier League. But even if he does, there will have been little logic in pinning everything on a striker who hasn't hit double figures for goals in one season since 2011.

The Carroll experiment hasn't failed – far from it – but it will be healthier for all concerned if West Ham start a new chapter without him.

SIGNING: Daggers Announce Signing of Bondz N'Gala
Posted: Tue 06 Jun 2017

The Daggers are pleased to announce the signing of 27-year-old centre-back Bondz N'Gala from National League side Dover Athletic on a two year deal. N'Gala started his career at West Ham United, joining the Club at the age of 13 and progressing through the youth ranks at the club. After signing a professional contract in 2008, the defender featured regularly in the Club's reserve side for several seasons, as well as captaining the reserves on several occasions.

Bondz was then loaned out to both Weymouth and MK Dons between the 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons. After returning to West Ham at the end of his loan spell at Milton Keynes Bondz continued to play the remainder of the season in the reserve side.

In September 2009 N'Gala made his first team debut for West Ham United, coming on in the 63rd minute in the club's 3-1 League Cup defeat away to Bolton Wanderers.

Following his time at West Ham he spent time out on loan at Scunthorpe United and Plymouth Argyle in which he made nine appearances for the Pilgrims

After being released by West Ham the defender joined Plymouth Argyle on a permanent basis signing a two-year contract with the Club. He scored his first professional goal in March 2011, netting the first goal of the match in the Pilgrims 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. He made 28 appearances in all competitions during the campaign. The defender was told he was free to leave the Club after they hit financial issues and joined several League clubs in the period between 2011-2014 including Yeovil, Stevenage and Portsmouth until he signed for Barnet in July 2014.

The Defender played 107 times during his spell with the Bees, scoring two goals. N'Gala then moved to National League side Eastleigh in November but left two months later by mutual consent.

While N'Gala was a free agent he seemingly signed for League One side Gillingham, however later that day the deal fell through as the Club became aware on the same day that due to FA regulations the player had played for too many teams in one season. N'Gala signed for Dover Athletic following talks with the FA and the EFL. He signed until the end of the season with an option for a longer deal upon his contract ending.

West Ham face competition from Liverpool for 'number one target' €25m German striker
The Hammers are said to be interested in a move for Timo Werner
Football London
09:31, 6 JUN 2017UPDATED09:33, 6 JUN 2017

West Ham have identified RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner as their 'number one target' this summer, according to reports from Italy.
The 21-year-old impressed this season in the Bundesliga, scoring 21 goals in 31 league appearances as Leipzig finished second ahead of Borussia Dortmund. But the Hammers will face stiff competition for the German's signature from fellow Premier League side Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp marked Werner down as one of his priorities this summer, and so West Ham are considering a €25m bid to secure his services ahead of the Reds.

Emanuele Giulianelli @EmaGiulianelli
West Ham looking at Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, target number one. Not bid yet, but ready to offer €25 mln. #hammers #whfc
10:52 PM - 5 Jun 2017 · Corsico, Lombardia

West Ham have been linked with a number of strikers already this transfer window, and are said to be closing in on a move for Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho. The club have apparently agreed terms with the Nigerian striker, as well as a fee with City, but the two sides cannot agree on how much to set a buy-back clause at.

Aston Villa are better move than German switch for West Ham prodigy in limbo Reece Oxford
Damien Lucas

Aston Villa would offer the perfect destination for West Ham United prodigy Reece Oxford next season rather than a bizarre move to Germany. According to The Sun, the supremely talented Oxford is set to be farmed out on a season-long loan to German side Borussia Monchengladbach to gain more first-team experience. Oxford shot to prominence when he made his debut with a midfield masterclass in a 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates in the opening game of the 2015/16 season aged just 16. He has found game time hard to come by since with Slaven Bilic reluctant to use him and a loan spell at Reading failing to work out.

Speculation was rife over the 6ft 5 teenager's future for much of last season with reports in the likes of the Mirror that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was one of a clutch of managers at Europe's top clubs keen on securing his signature. Talk was put to bed when the youngster signed a long term deal with the Hammers which was expected to see him fast tracked into an ageing West Ham defence.
But he is now being linked with a move to Germany to join flop midfielder Havard Nordtveit's old club. If Oxford, his advisors and Bilic have any sense, though, they would seek out a move to Villa Park for a season to accelerate his football education and return to East London an even better and matured player.
The move would be perfect for all parties, the player, West Ham and Villa and here's why:
Bruce a former centre back that has been there, done it and got the t-shirt
Steve Bruce is not only a very experienced and successful manager but he also formed the bedrock of one of Manchester United's most successful defensive units.
Oxford cannot help but learn a vast amount under his tutelage of what is expected at the highest level.
Bruce could mould the player into a top class centre half for club and country.

Game time

While many supporters feel Oxford should be given more of a chance in the first team, given the number of experienced players West Ham have in defence, Oxford is unlikely to play as much as he would like with the Hammers next season. He is undoubtedly the club's brightest prospect and West Ham fans will hope he has a long and bright future with them. But to do that he must get senior first team games under his belt and Aston Villa can offer him that, while his supreme talent will also help the the club in their quest to mount a serious bid to return to the Premier League.

Big club with big expectations

The great thing about Villa is the fact they are very similar to West Ham in that they have a loyal and passionate fanbase, who aren't afraid to let their teams know when they're not giving 100%. With the pressure to be promoted, Villa would offer Oxford a steep learning curve which can only be of benefit to his long-term future.

West Ham and Southampton target hands in transfer request at Juventus - report
The Ghanian midfielder is out of favour in Turin
Football London
05:00, 6 JUN 2017

West Ham are interested in signing Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah. According to reports in Italy, the Ghana star is keen to leave the Champions League finalists this summer and has handed in a transfer request. The Hammers are expected to be active in the transfer market this summer and have reportedly made contact with the 28-year-old's representatives already. However, Slaven Bilic's team are not the only side interested in signing the former Udinese player. Fellow Premier League side Southampton and Turkish giants Galatasaray have already made offers to sign the 28-year-old, according to Ibianconero. Chelsea were previously linked with a move for the midfielder earlier this season with Juventus resisting the Blues' advances at the time, but the Serie A champions are thought to be open to offers for Asamoah this summer, and will be happy to sell for the right price. The midfielder joined Max Allegri's side from Udinese for €18 million in 2012 and has delivered two assists in 24 appearances this season.

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph could be replaced by Keiren Westwood for World Cup qualifier against Austria
West Ham 'keeper Darren Randolph's place in the Ireland team is under threat
Randolph was substituted after making an error against Uruguay on Sunday
Keiren Westwood came on at half-time and could retain his place in the side
Ireland next face Austria in a World Cup qualifier in Dublin on Sunday night
By Craig Hope for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 23:18, 5 June 2017 | UPDATED: 23:18, 5 June 2017

West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph's place in the Republic of Ireland team is under threat from Sheffield Wednesday's Keiren Westwood heading into this weekend's World Cup qualifier against Austria. Randolph has been his country's No 1 for the best part of 18 months now and has deserved his prolonged stay in the side. However, he was at fault for Uruguay's equaliser during Sunday night's 3-1 friendly win in Dublin and was replaced by Westwood at half-time. The understudy impressed in the second half - he pulled off one flying save with the score at 1-1 - and manager Martin O'Neill admits he has a decision to make ahead of Sunday's game at the Aviva Stadium. 'I have plenty to contemplate,' he said when asked about the goalkeeping situation. 'I've been very pleased with both goalkeepers. Obviously I knew Westy at club level (at Sunderland) and you know my view of him - he's a really talented goalkeeper, just get his head right and he's great. 'Well he's really fine now. I think he's got over the team losing out in the play-offs and I think he made a really good save. And Darren, I don't think he's let us down too often.'
One player guaranteed to start is West Brom winger James McClean. He has emerged as something of a talisman with three goals during this qualifying campaign and he was again on target against Uruguay. Indeed, his late strike after coming on as a substitute was a carbon copy of the goal he scored to beat Austria in Vienna in November - a powerful finish after bursting clear down the left - and O'Neill hopes that is a good omen. 'Yes, it bodes well. It was a very similar goal, he picks it up and goes. He's on a pretty big high right now,' said the manager. 'He played left-back against Mexico last week, but I'm not so sure he wants to play there again.'


Timo Werner was the driving force behind Red Bull Leipzig's surge up the Bundesliga table this season, helping them secure a second-placed finish and an automatic spot in next season's Champions League. The 21-year-old striker scored 21 goals and provided seven assists for Leipzig and was rewarded with his first cap for Germany back in March for his efforts. Werner has attracted the interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Liverpool, both of whom have Champions League football next season, but another team have entered the race. Journalist Emanuele Giulianelli has claimed that West Ham are now looking at Werner and have made him their number one striker target. He goes on to mention that the Hammers are ready to make a €25m offer to sign the German striker this summer.
Many clubs are eager to sign Werner and it's likely that he will leave Leipzig, but West Ham appear to have made the first move in this saga that will drag on for much of the window.


West Ham are preparing an audacious swoop to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner this summer, according to Emanuele Giulianelli. The young German striker enjoyed a quite simply sublime season with Leipzig, firing them to a high finish in the Bundesliga and helping them become a potent force near the top of the league. His clinical nature and ability to get in behind helped Leipzig to become one of the most attractive teams to watch in Germany. However, this has not gone unnoticed and he is attracting interest from several clubs. Liverpool have been cited with interest in recent times. Giulianelli interestingly states that West Ham would be prepared to cough up a huge sum of €25m, which would be a huge sign of intent from the club as they look to avoid an underwhelming campaign again. The Hammers are in need of more attacking inspiration and pulling off the unlikely signing of Werner would almost certainly provide that.

Transfer Rumours – Goalkeepers
MooreThan Just A Club
Transfer News

Now that we are officially in the twilight zone, in other words, pre "pre-season" mode, it's time to look at the many West Ham transfer rumours currently doing the rounds. It should be said that this is officially "silly season", a period in which deals are very seldom done and which therefore gives journalists carte blanche to make up any old rubbish in the hope that it might sell a few papers.

Sifting through these can prove to be difficult especially when there are so many sources out there these days. It's not just newspaper reporters, there are so-called experts everywhere, some with apparent "close" connections to the club providing us with daily bulletins via blog posts (just like this one). If you ask me it's information overload. Give me the days when the only way you could find out if someone had moved was reading it in the Daily Express the following morning.

We will start with the first line of defense – Goalkeepers

West Ham's defensive record was poor last year but you couldn't always blame it on our No.1… However, neither Adrián nor Darren Randolph played consistently well in front of a porous defense so it's not surprising that we should be linked with an upgrade. But do we really need to strengthen in this area? The candidates are;


Talented 23-year-old who couldn't keep Sunderland up but who could just be the next big thing in British Football. Still a bit raw but if it hadn't been for his performances his team would have faired far worse than they did, which is saying something. It has been suggested that the deal could involve Adrián going in the opposite direction. The thing is, is he the keeper to be replaced? Randolph seems to be the obvious choice particularly as Adrián has just signed a new contract that, one would imagine, has made certain promises regarding his position in the pecking order. Also, there is the possibility of a £15 million pound fee for Pickford which is a lot of money considering we will probably need to spend it on other areas of the team. One thing seems likely though and that is that Pickford will be playing Premier League football next season, but with whom?

JOHN RUDDY (Norwich City)

30-year-old England international available on a free transfer having spent the last seven seasons playing for The Canaries. Looked a very capable keeper the last time Norwich were in the Premier League, and won his first England cap. His position within that squad was lost however when Delia Smith's boys got relegated. Despite being among the favourites to return to the top flight this season, Norwich failed to do so and Ruddy lost his first team place. With his contract expiring it's more than a little surprising that they have decided to let him go which makes you wonder what kind of form he's been in over the last 6 months. Would Ruddy for Randolph be considered an upgrade? Would he be happy warming the bench as Adrián's No.2? Stranger things have happened.

JOE HART (Manchester City)

Like him or not, he is still England's No.1. On loan to Torino last season, a team that shifted 66 goals (two more than West Ham), yet Torino wanted to retain his services so he must have made an impression of sorts. Needs to come back to England in order to preserve his international position, particularly with the likes of Butland & Pickford breathing down his neck. One would imagine that Hart would go to a Top Six team with European football and not to a mid-table side like us. All the ambition in the world may not be enough to lure him to the London Stadium and his wages would be astronomical. He would be a signing that would declare some intent which is why I think we are being linked with him and also why I don't think it will happen.


Another keeper out on loan to a Serie A team, this time with Roma, the Polish international has been in excellent form over the last two seasons and if talks with Arsene Wenger prove fruitless it's possible that he will be looking to secure a permanent deal elsewhere. We have apparently taken an interest in the situation but with recent reports suggesting that Juventus are thinking of making a bid of about £13 million I think it's likely that the 27-year-old will remain in Italy.

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