Friday, July 21

Daily WHUFC News - 21st July 2017

West Ham United triumph 2-1 over Fulham in Austria

West Ham United 2-1 Fulham
Pre-Season Match

West Ham United picked up their first win of pre-season on Thursday evening, holding off Fulham to triumph 2-1 in Austria. The Hammers' goals came in a dominant first half, as Manuel Lanzini and Ashley Fletcher found the target. Slaven Bilic again rotated his players, with only Josh Cullen playing more than 45 minutes, and Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon pulled one back late on. But the Hammers held firm to ensure the Austrian leg of their European tour ended in victory.
It was the Hammers who were first to threaten when the lively Sofiane Feghouli made his way to the by-line and cut back dangerously, but just out of reach of Fletcher in the centre. With 13 minutes on the clock, Cauley Woodrow advanced towards the Hammers box and shot low from 20 yards, but his effort lacked power and Darren Randolph dropped down to his right to save. Less than 60 seconds later, West Ham were in front. Lanzini manufactured space for himself with a cute drop of the shoulder after Fletcher played the ball into him, allowing the Argentine to find the bottom left hand corner from 15 yards. Shortly afterwards, West Ham were indebted to Randolph for keeping them in front with an outstanding reaction save to deny Sone Aluko, who looked certain to score when he fired goalwards following Floyd Ayite's pull back.

Midway through the half, Lanzini went desperately close to doubling his tally, curling inches past the post after he again showed his dexterity in the box, dragging the ball back onto his left foot to take the defender out of the game. Then, five minutes before the interval, Fletcher made it 2-0, robbing Fulham goalkeeper David Button as he tried to deal with a backpass to leave him the simple task of knocking into an unguarded net. The Hammers made ten changes at the break, with only Cullen remaining from the starting XI and the opening stages of the second period passed without major incident. A quick Fulham break on 67 minutes gave the Cottagers a shooting chance from the edge of the box, but Woodrow's effort was too close to Adrian, who gathered into his body. At the other end, James Collins nodded a Robert Snodgrass corner back to Mark Noble, but he couldn't get over the ball and his volley flew off target. With nine minutes left to play Aluko burst into the box and knocked through to Sessegnon, who poked home with the help of a slight deflection off Reece Burke to halve the deficit. Fulham couldn't force another however, as the Hammers saw out time to secure the spoils.

West Ham United: Randolph (Adrian 46), Byram (Zabaleta 46), Ogbonna (Collins 46), Rice (Burke 46), Cresswell (Masuaku 46), Cullen (Makasi 77), Lanzini (Noble 46), Makasi (Obiang 46), Feghouli (Ayew 46), Holland (Snodgrass 46), Fletcher (Martinez 46)
Substitutes: Anang
Goals: Lanzini 14, Fletcher 40

Fulham: Button, Fredericks (Opoku 75), Sigurdsson (Ream 23), Djalo, Opoku (Sessegnon 46), Cisse (McDonald 46), Piazon (Aluko 75), Edun, Aluko (O'Reilly 46), Woodrow, Ayite (Cisse 75)
Substitutes: Rodak, Johansen
Goal: Sessegnon 81

Javier Hernandez terms agreed

West Ham United and Bayer Leverkusen have agreed terms for the transfer of Javier Hernandez to London Stadium. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker will fly to London in the coming days to finalise personal terms and undergo a medical with the Hammers. Hernandez, 29, affectionately known as 'Chicharito' across the globe, became Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer in May this year.

Jack Collison returns to West Ham United as U16s manager

West Ham United are pleased to confirm that Jack Collison has been appointed as the Academy of Football's new U16 manager. The former Hammers and Wales midfielder returns to the Club where he made 121 appearances between 2008 and 2014, having himself graduated from the Academy in 2007. Collison, who has embarked on a successful coaching career since a knee injury forced him to end his playing days early, cannot wait to start work with West Ham's promising Academy players. "It feels fantastic," he told West Ham TV. "Obviously I have many great memories with the Club and I've been through an awful lot, some good times and some bad times. "I came through as a kid into the reserves and obviously made my mark on the first team so to come back in a coaching capacity is really exciting and I just can't wait to get going now. "I spoke to Terry [Westley] before a couple of times and the opportunity to come home came up for me. Having spoke to Nobes and spoke to Terry as well, seeing his passion and the plan they have here and to have the opportunity to get back home and help some of these young lads to try and help them on their journeys was really exciting."

Born in Watford, Collison grew up in Bedfordshire and played schoolboy football for both Peterborough United and Cambridge United before joining the Hammers at the age of 16 in 2005. A technically-gifted midfielder, Collison captained the reserve team before being handed his first-team debut by another Academy graduate, Alan Curbishley, at Arsenal on New Year's Day 2008. Just five months later, the 19-year-old made his first of 15 senior appearances for Wales, a country he qualified for through his grandfather. Collison's career continued to flourish under Gianfranco Zola as he was named Young Hammer of the Year, only for a knee injury initially suffered in March 2009 and relegation from the Premier League in 2011 to disrupt his career. However, the likeable former Hammer showed courage and conviction to play through the pain and help the Club regain their top-flight status at Wembley in May 2012. After short loan spells at AFC Bournemouth and Wigan Athletic and permanent stints with Ipswich Town and Peterborough, Collison hung up his boots in February 2016 – but he had already put the foundations in place for his coaching career Still just 27, Collison had already launched his own soccer school, started a sports media degree, attained a UEFA B licence and taken up the role of Lead PDP (Professional Development Phase) Coach at Peterborough, developing the League One club's promising youngsters. Now, he will bring his ability and enthusiasm back to east London.

"I can't wait," confirmed Collison, who is working towards his UEFA A licence. "I got great experience at Peterborough, coaching the youth team day in, day out, and learning about lots of new things I didn't deal with as a player and earning my stripes. "Having my soccer school has enabled me to coach players from the age of two right up to first-team age, while I've also been doing my badges and gained experience coaching in Finland and America and visiting quite a few clubs.
"I've been learning my trade and now I feel I'm in a good position to try and pass on what I have learned and nurture the future products of the Club."

Everyone at West Ham United would like to welcome Jack on his return and wish him all the best as he embarks on his exciting new role with the Academy of Football.

Hammers scholars narrowly beaten at Charlton Athletic

West Ham United U18s continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-2 defeat away at Charlton Athletic on Wednesday afternoon. The Hammers took the lead at the Addicks' training ground in the opening few minutes after a lovely team move resulted in Malyk Hamilton guiding home. Charlton responded midway through the first half from the penalty spot before the Hammers seized the advantage once again through substitute Rosaire Longelo. However, the home side struck twice in the final 20 minutes to take the spoils in another good run-out for Steve Potts and Mark Phillips' squad. After having to field a number of trialists in the draw with Bishop's Stortford on Saturday, the management duo welcomed back a host of regular faces for the trip to south London, including a handful of players who featured for the U23s in their defeat to Colchester United on Tuesday evening. The Hammers started the match on the front foot and took the lead inside the opening ten minutes after a flowing team move. Sam Caiger set Jeremy Ngakia free down the right hand side and the No7 cut the ball back brilliantly for Hamilton to guide the ball into the bottom corner. However, Charlton rallied and responded 20 minutes later. A swift attack ended in Jay Mingi being penalised for a tackle in the penalty area. Charlton took full advantage and scored the spot kick.
The young Addicks took confidence from the equaliser and started the second half the better of the two sides, going close on two occasions. Potts and Phillips brought on a number of fresh faces around the hour mark and one of their substitutions made a key difference. On his comeback from a long-term injury, Longelo stabbed home from close-range as the visitors retook the lead. Charlton fought back again with 15 minutes to play and managed to bundle home a deep free-kick to make it 2-2. And the Addicks snatched the victory with just minutes to play when Tyler Forde was beaten by a low effort. Nonetheless, it was another much-needed run out for the U18s who turn their attention to their first home friendly against Crystal Palace at Little Heath on Saturday.

West Ham United U18s: Forde, Caiger, Mingi, Wells (c), Hannam; Belic, Rosa; Ngakia, Henry, Hamilton, E.Longelo
Subs used: Mbeta, El Mhassani, Okotcha, Forson, Dalipi, R.Longelo, Adarkwa, Spyridis

Hammers confirm Checkatrade Trophy fixture dates

West Ham United U21s' Checkatrade Trophy fixtures at Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers and Wycombe Wanderers in the 2017/18 Checkatrade Trophy.

The Hammers were placed in Southern Group C alongside the two West Country clubs and will play all three matches away from home, meaning they will travel to the County Ground, Memorial Ground and Adams Park.

Terry Westley's youngsters kick-off with a visit to Wiltshire to take on the Robins on Tuesday 15 August, followed by another trip down the M4 to the Memorial Ground to tackle the Gas on Tuesday 24 October. The shortest journey will see the Hammers visit Adams Park on Tuesday 28 November, with all three ties kicking-off at 7.45pm.

West Ham are among 16 EPPP Category One Academies taking part, with Chelsea, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur among the seven others in the Southern Section. Everton, Manchester City and Newcastle United are among the Northern Section participants.

The 16 Category One entrants will join the 48 League One and League Two clubs in the group stage, which has been regionalised to reduce travel times and costs for supporters and clubs alike.

West Ham will play all three Group C fixtures away from home, with clubs being awarded three points for a win and one for a draw. In the event of a draw after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout will be held with the winning team earning an additional point.

The top two teams in each group will progress to the knockout stage.

The final will be played at Wembley Stadium in spring 2018.

Checkatrade Trophy Southern Group C fixtures

Swindon Town v West Ham United U21, County Ground, Tuesday 15 August 2017, 7.45pm
Bristol Rovers v West Ham United U21, Memorial Ground, Tuesday 24 October 2017, 7.45pm*
Wycombe Wanders v West Ham United U21, Adams Park, Tuesday 28 November, 7.45pm
*In the event that either or both sides reaches the Carabao Cup fourth round, then the fixture may be re-scheduled and played on Tuesday 31 October 2017.

Javier Hernandez: West Ham close to deal for Mexican forward

West Ham are closing in on a deal to sign Mexico striker Javier Hernandez from German club Bayer Leverkusen. The club are confident of signing the former Manchester United frontman, 29, although no fee has been finalised. Meanwhile, Austria forward Marko Arnautovic is due to have a medical in the next 48 hours after the Hammers agreed a deal with Stoke City. The Hammers had two bids rejected but it is understood Stoke have accepted a fee in the region of £24m. In May, Hernandez - widely known by the nickname Chicharito, which means 'little pea' - became Mexico's leading all-time scorer with his 47th international goal.
Hernandez scored 59 goals in 156 appearances for United after arriving at Old Trafford in 2010, before joining Leverkusen for £7.3m in August 2015. He has netted 39 times in 76 matches for the German club. Arnautovic, 28, joined Stoke from Werder Bremen four years ago and is just 12 months into a four-year contract with the Potters. He scored seven times in 35 games in all competitions last season.

Oxford seeking Champions League glory
Filed: Thursday, 20th July 2017
By: Staff Writer

Young Hammer Reece Oxford says he wants to challenge for a Champions League spot this season. The teenage defender is on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach for the season and was grilled about his hopes and aspirations for the campaign ahead during a break in pre-season. And top on his list is a high league finish that would enable his new club to qualify for Europe's Premier competition. When asked what to expect this year, he replied: "I want the team to do well and challenge for a Champions League spot as we just missed out last year. "Hopefully we can get a Champions League spot this year and win a trophy. I just want to play, keep clean sheets and win games. I'll be giving 100 per cent for team."

And when asked whether he might remain for longer than the one season, he replied: "I don't know, I haven't even kicked a ball in the Bundesliga yet! Hopefully I do play and you never know - we'll see."

Randolph bid accepted?
Filed: Thursday, 20th July 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham have accepted a bid from Middlesbrough for Darren Randolph, according to reports. The Irish international has spent the last two seasons at West Ham but has fallen to third in the pecking order behind Adrian and new arrival Joe Hart, who will be installed as United's de facto number one. 'Boro, who were relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2016/17 campaign after just one season in the Premier League are currently desperately short in the goalkeeping department having lost lost Victor Valdes and Brad Guzan in recent weeks. The Hammers are seeking in the region of £5million for the former Birmingham stopper, who moved to east London on a free transfer in the summer of 2015. A previous offer was rejected last week.

West Ham 2 Fulham 1: Manuel Lanzini and Ashley Fletcher goals claim bragging rights in Austria friendly
Evening Standard

West Ham concluded the Austrian leg of their pre-season tour with a 2-1 win over London rivals Fulham thanks to goals from Manuel Lanzini and Ashley Fletcher.
Just minutes after West Ham confirmed a deal for Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez on Thursday, Slaven Bilic led his side out to face Fulham in Austria, which marked the end to the Hammers' 11-day training camp in Austria. The first chance of the game in Graz came through Cauley Woodrow, whose low effort was kept out by Darren Randolph before the Hammers reacted by launching a swift counter-attack, which ended in Fletcher teeing up Lanzini, who calmly stroked home from 20 yards out. The forward - who shone for the Hammers following the departure of Dimitri Payet last season - then came close to bagging a brace when he latched onto Sofiane Feghouli's cross, turned and unleashed a fine shot that just flew wide of the far post.
West Ham were the better of the two sides in the first half, but Fulham did test the Hammers' defence when Floyd Ayite skilfully worked the ball past his marker to the feet of Sone Aluko, whose resulting effort was kept out by a brilliant save from Randolph. But when David Button tried to dribble his way past Fletcher with the ball at his feet instead of clearing it in the 39th minute, Fulham found themselves 2-0 down. Button appeared to be clipped by Fletcher as he attempted to get the ball out of the box but, with no whistle being blown, the West Ham striker won the ball and tapped it into an open net. The second half of the friendly lacked the quality and, indeed, the intensity of the first as both managers made wholesale changes to their respective line-ups. But Woodrow continued to prove a threat for Fulham after he sent a powerful effort from outside the box toward goal which substitute Adrian dived down to stop in the 66th minute. The west Londoners pushed and pushed and were eventually rewarded with a goal when Ryan Sessegnon dribbled past Reece Burke before his toe-poke found the back of the net from a tight angle via a final touch from the lively Woodrow. But they couldn't find the second goal they needed to at least salvage a draw, although Fulham will be happy with the second-half performance while West Ham will be pleased with the impact of the likes of Lanzini and Fletcher.

Stoke winger Marko Arnautovic set for West Ham medical
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 20/07/17 9:58am

Marko Arnautovic will have a medical and discuss personal terms in the coming days ahead of his club-record move to West Ham, according to Sky sources. The Hammers are hoping a deal can be completed in time for the 28-year-old winger to fly out with the rest of the squad on Monday for the pre-season tour of Germany. West Ham agreed a £24m fee with Stoke for Arnautovic on Tuesday, having previously failed with two earlier bids. If the Austria international passes a medical and agrees personal terms, he would become manager Slaven Bilic's third signing of the summer following the arrivals of goalkeeper Joe Hart and defender Pablo Zabaleta. Arnautovic expressed a desire to join West Ham earlier this summer and handed in a transfer request in a bid to force through a move.
He has not featured for Stoke since suffering a suspected knee injury in their 1-0 pre-season victory over Swiss side Neuchatel Xamax last week. Meanwhile, West Ham expect to complete a deal to sign Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen "in the next few days", according to Sky sources.

Keita Balde set to snub West Ham and join Juventus instead
By Jay Williams - Jul 20, 2017 0

West Ham United have reportedly suffered a blow in their bid to land Keita Balde as a marquee summer signing. According to reports in the Italian media, Keita Balde will snub West Ham United's interest in favour of joining Juventus. Italian media outlet Premium Sport, reported via Il Bianconero, Keita Balde wants to join Juventus and will turn down offers from other teams to complete his desired move. The Lazio star has attracted interest from a number of clubs, including AC Milan and Inter Milan, as well as West Ham United. Predominantly a winger, Keita Balde can also play as a central striker and fits the bill as an exciting young attacker for the Hammers. Plenty of reports have recently suggested that West Ham have had a €32m bid accepted by Lazio but it is just a matter of agreeing personal terms. West Ham were hoping that Diafra Sakho and Cheikhou Kouyate would convince the twelve-cap Senegal international to join them at the London Stadium. However, the 22-year-old former Barcelona youth player has his heart set on a move to Juventus, according to recent reports emerging from Italy. West Ham might have to pursue other options if this move fails to materialise.

West Ham confirm Javier Hernandez to undergo medical after deal agreed
Evening Standard

West Ham have agreed a deal to sign striker Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen. The Hammers announced the news on Thursday afternoon in a statement on their website, in which they confirmed the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward will undergo a medical in the next few days before finalising personal terms. As reported by Standard Sport on Wednesday, the 29-year-old has a £13million escape clause at German club Leverkusen. West Ham do not expect contract negotiations to be an issue when the Mexico international arrives to complete his move to West Ham this week. The transfer will prove a statement of intent from coach Slaven Bilic, who has already overseen the loan arrival of goalkeeper Joe Hart from Manchester City and the experienced Pablo Zabaleta on a free. Meanwhile, a £24m deal to sign Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City is edging towards completion. Hernandez would help ease the burden of goals at the London Stadium next season after the striker scored 28 times for Leverkusen in 45 league games since joining from Manchester United in 2015.


West Ham look to be on the verge of completing a move for Javier Hernandez this summer, with the striker having reportedly agreed a switch to the London Stadium. According to a report from ESPN, the experienced forward has told their Mexican correspondent Javier Dipp that he will undergo a medical at the club on Monday ahead of a £13m move. The Bayer Leverkusen striker's release clause has been activated by the Hammers and they look to be increasingly close to securing a move for the clinical finisher. The 29-year-old was entering the final year of his current deal with the Bundesliga outfit and is now seemingly excited by the prospect of returning to the Premier League. Slaven Bilic has been on the lookout for a new starting striker for some time now, and it looks as though he has finally found his man in the form of ex-Manchester United striker Hernandez. A move is looking likely to be confirmed next week.

Jack Collison returns to West Ham as Under-16s manager
Evening Standard

West Ham have announced the return of Jack Collison to the club as Under-16s manager. The 28-year-old spent seven years at the club before leaving in 2014 and eventually called time on a playing career in 2016 due to ongoing injury problems. Collison has spent a spell as Peterbrough United's reserve team coach and now returns to the Hammers to take up a role with the Academy. "It feels fantastic," he told West Ham TV. "Obviously I have many great memories with the club and I've been through an awful lot, some good times and some bad times. "I came through as a kid into the reserves and obviously made my mark on the first team so to come back in a coaching capacity is really exciting and I just can't wait to get going now. "I spoke to Terry [Westley] before a couple of times and the opportunity to come home came up for me. Having spoke to Nobes and spoke to Terry as well, seeing his passion and the plan they have here and to have the opportunity to get back home and help some of these young lads to try and help them on their journeys was really exciting."

JOSHUA HARDY @joshuahardy_

West Ham co-owner has confirmed on Twitter that West Ham's young Norwegian play-maker Martin Samuelsen is not taking part in the preseason due to injury.
Although may think that David Gold shouldn't use Twitter as much as he does, he has provided good information hear, answering many fans' questions as to why one of The Hammers' most talented youngsters isn't taking part in preseason. Samuelsen is part of a very talented young contingent at West Ham, which includes Josh Cullen, Reece Burke, Reece Oxford, Toni Martinez and Marcus Browne as well as many more. The Norwegian joined West Ham in 2015 from Manchester City's youth squad and has been on loan to Peterborough, Blackburn and then Peterborough again last season where he had an up and down campaign. His talent was shown mostly during his first stint at Peterborough, especially in their FA Cup 4th round replay vs Premier League West Brom where he ran the show. Unfortunately for them, they were knocked out 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 1-1. Samuelsen missed one of the penalties.

West Ham could be handed Ayew, Kouyate & Sakho boost if latest rule changes agreed
The trio of Hammers stars could be available more during future seasons if the changes are set in stone
Football London
12:00, 20 JUL 2017

Slaven Bilic could be handed a boost in future seasons as the Africa Cup of Nations is set to be revamped. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have proposed moving the tournament to the summer instead of the British winter, switching it to outside of the regular Premier League season, as well as expanding their biannual tournament to 24 teams. West Ham lost both Cheikhou Kouyate and Andre Ayew to the competition in January and February of this year and would have lost Diafra Sakho too if he hadn't been injured to Senegal and Ghana respectively. The next tournament is scheduled to take place between January 12 and February 3 in 2019 in Cameroon. "From a sporting perspective, it will allow more opportunity for footballers across the continent," said Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnock, who is also a CAF executive committee member. "It will increase revenue for CAF and we can triple our income. It will also force more infrastructure development." A decision could be made within the next 48 hours on whether the tournament will be moved or not.

By Iain Dale 20 Jul 2017 at 08:00 WTID

Guest Post by Forever Blowing Bubbles

Amidst all the talk of a new striker which seems to elude us every year, from the title one would assume that I am about to discuss our reported interest in Stoke's Austrian international. I am, but it appears in the form of a comparison with one of our own players – one who was, in my opinion, unfairly maligned at times last season.

It has been well reported that Marko Arnautovic is being sought out due to Bilic's intention for a formation that sees a lone striker supported in a front three beside Michail Antonio on the right and another scoring winger on the left. In our search for more firepower that seems to make reasonable sense, especially if we were to sign my preferred striker Javier Hernandez whose talents are enough for another post on their own. Reluctance surrounding his pay should arguably be quashed immediately; we need to understand that we should be paying the going rate in wages for a striker of his quality or else we risk losing out again. Especially when you consider his meagre transfer fee of 13.5 million vs Arnautovic's quoted 25million. However, obviously these two do not and will not play in comparable positions. The current West Ham personnel most suited to that position is Andre Ayew – someone who did cost us 20million only last season. If that was an inflated hot air balloon of a transfer fee at the time for him, then the money Stoke are requesting for Marko is the equivalent of a zeppelin.

Ayew was fighting a losing battle with some corners of our support early on when he got injured in his first game – similar supporters who are now singing the praises of Arnautovic. Somehow many of these fans managed to connect the inconvenience of his injury to the money we paid for him, however that is never something that could seriously be held against him – he didn't choose how much money Swansea requested and how much we ultimately stumped up for his services, though overpriced no doubt, but that is becoming the norm these days. A few months ago some of us were discussing the option – more dream – of weighing in for Sigurdsson – £30 million we reckoned. 50 say Swansea if not more. That's a no then. Prices are insane nowadays for relative quality, but otherwise middle of the road players. Maybe we should just accept it, difficult as it is to swallow. Taking aside his price tag and early injury now solved, Ayew could be considered then as now a quality addition to our squad, with his prime position being the left side of a front three. Hang on a minute… that's where we are looking to pay at least £5 million more than we did for him for Marko? Now I actually rate Arnautovic, he is a good player and would improve most squads, but would I start him over Ayew in that position? No. Here's why…

Comparing some statistics of the two, Ayew trumps Arnautovic in a number of ways. His goals per game ratio is an improvement on the Austrian's through his career from Marseille to West Ham vs FC Twente to Stoke. Looking primarily at their careers in England though, Marko has scored 26 goals in 129 appearances in all completions vs Ayew's 18 goals in 59 appearances. It is also worth baring in mind that Arnautovic has spent double the time in English football than Ayew. Andre's shooting accuracy is at 40 percent vs Marko's 27 percent – that even tops our man Antonio's accuracy of 33 percent in his two seasons in the top tier. This equates to a 0.31 goals per match ratio for Ayew – the exact same number as Antonio – vs 0.18 for Arnautovic . Some may argue that many of Ayew's goals are tap ins – as I've heard said multiple times at the London stadium – but do we really care how they go in? What I see isn't a player lacking a quality shot, but one who always knows how to be in the right place at the right time, something many of our other players lack.

An interesting fact….and I use the word interesting liberally…of the 21 goals Arnautovic has scored in the premier league only 3 have been left footed and none scored with his head. Considering we would play him in a left sided position, that suggests he favors the cutting in approach, which while effective can often be controlled by good defenders once they know your game. In contrast Ayew is a much more balanced player: 10 on his left, 2 on his right and 6 with his head, making him harder to predict. The only attacking statistic where Arnautovic runs Ayew off the field is in his assists -23 during his time in English football vs Ayew's measly 5. Very different types of player ultimately then, if that statistic is anything to go by. However, it is worth noting that Antonio also only boasts 6 assists to his name.

From this information, the conclusion that I draw is that for both their pros and cons, it is Antonio and Ayew who are a very similar pair and would therefore I believe work well in tandem in supporting our new striker. It is a partnership that we saw little to none of last season due to injuries to both and something that would be worth exploring before confining Ayew to the bench and replacing him with Arnautovic off hand. Ayew also has it in him, and I saw glimpses of it last season, to be the never say die, give everything, sprint to the last whistle, type of player we have come to know and love in Antonio and I believe we will see more of that from a fully fit version of the player next season.

There is no doubt that Arnautovic's assists would come in very useful and he is the type of skilful player I like to see in a West Ham shirt and I would be in no way disappointed if we bought him, especially if we employed him in a different system that could accommodate both. However, for the price tag and based on these statistics I am not convinced he is an improvement on the current player we could employ in that position who we spent similar money on barely a year ago, but I am more than happy to be proved wrong as I chomp at bit with excitement for any incoming transfers ahead of the new season starting!


Stewart Robson says Javier Hernandez wouldn't play every week for West Ham United
Shane Callaghan

West Ham United are seemingly close to signing the Mexican. Stewart Robson has told ESPN that he believes West Ham United will sign Javier Hernandez - but suggested he might be Slaven Bilic's first-choice striker every week. West Ham have been linked with the Bayer Leverkusen hitman for much of the summer.
But The Express reported this week that the Hammers are set to deal a deal for the Mexican, who will be paid £145,000 per week according to the report. West Ham fans have been crying out for Hernandez ever since speculation about a £13 million switch broke back in June. And Robson, who spent three years with the Irons, believes it could happen, though the 52-year-old has suggested he won't be in the first XI every week. He told ESPN: "It's a good move for Chicharito and a decent move for West Ham. I'm not sure he's going to be the number one striker every week, but if you provide chances for him then he'll score goals.
"It's quite a good fit [joining West Ham] and I think that could be a hit."
Contrary to Robson's suggestion, surely West Ham wouldn't be signing a £145,000-a-week talent if they did not intend to play him every week. On that money, he is almost certain to be a regular fixture in Slaven Bilic's attack, providing he is fit to play.

Leeds United and Newcastle among four clubs in race for West Ham winger Robert Snodgrass
West Ham transfer news includes the possible exit of Robert Snodgrass this summer and what it could mean for incomings at the London Stadium
Football London
09:25, 20 JUL 2017UPDATED09:44, 20 JUL 2017

West Ham are preparing for interest from four clubs for winger Robert Snodgrass this summer, with the future of the January signing from Hull City in serious doubt. Snodgrass has failed to settle at the London Stadium since arriving at the turn of the year and West Ham are ready to cut their losses on a player they signed for £10m. And understands there are a quartet of interested clubs in the race to sign the Scot, with Premier League new boys Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle United joined by Norwich City and his former club Leeds United. The Hammers are open to the sale of Snodgrass due to their ongoing interest in Marko Arnautovic and it is understood the out-of-favour winger's departure will precede an announcement on Arnautovic, who is close to joining.
There are still issues to iron out on a deal for the Stoke City player and confirmation is not imminent, but West Ham anticipate using the money received from Snodgrass to fund the Arnautovic deal. Some reports had previously suggested that West Ham had proposed the possibility of a cash plus player swap deal involving Snodgrass to land Arnautovic. If Snodgrass does depart, it is likely to ensure Sofiane Feghouli remains at the London Stadium for another season despite ongoing links with a move to Galatasaray. Feghouli joined from Valencia last summer and impressed in patches but the Algerian faces a challenge in dislodging the likes of Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini or Michail Antonio from the three positions behind the main frontman. Snodgrass has previously hinted he will not give up at West Ham despite a difficult start to life at the club, saying: "It's been good for a lot of reasons. "The football side for me – in terms of scoring and creating goals – hasn't really been at the level I've had in the past but other teams have played me in right midfield, which has allowed me to cut inside or in behind the striker.
"Playing left midfield a lot at West Ham has been tough but the manager has put me there and I've got every faith in what he's doing. The management staff and the fans have been tremendous. "The other staff have been great in helping me to settle, too. I feel like I've been there for five years so it's been great in that respect. I've settled really well with the boys. It's one of the best squads I've been in, but on the football side it's taken a bit longer to get going."


Norwich City are one of four English clubs interested in West Ham winger Robert Snodgrass. According to Football London, Norwich, Leeds, Newcastle and Brighton all hold an interest in the Scottish international. Snodgrass joined West Ham from Hull in January but has failed to impress at the Olympic Stadium as he is yet to score in 14 appearances. The report claims that West Ham are now looking to move him on as they close on a deal to sign Mark Arnautovic from Stoke for £24m.
The winger had a fine first half to the Premier League season with Hull. He scored seven goals and registered three assists 20 games for the side who have been relegated from the top-flight this season. Snodgrass spent two years at Norwich between 2012 and 2014, amassing 74 appearances and netting 14 goals – including 12 in the Premier League. Norwich sold Jacob Murphy to Newcastle on Wednesday, which could fund a move to sign Snodgrass before the start of the season. He could be tempted with a loan move back to Norwich to revive his form.

Hernandez set for West Ham move ahead of Spurs and Everton as Leverkusen accept Hammers bid
West Ham transfer news includes the latest on Javier Hernandez who is expected to complete a move to West Ham in the very near future
Football London
10:37, 20 JUL 2017

Spurs and Everton had expressed an interest in signing Javier Hernandez but his move to West Ham is not in jeopardy as Bayer Leverkusen have now accepted a bid from the east Londoners for the striker. Football.London understands that West Ham's London rivals and the free-spending Toffees were ready to match Leverkusen's valuation of the Mexican frontman, believed to be between £15m and £18m. However, the other two clubs stumbled on the wage demands of Hernandez and wouldn't agree to his £140,000 a week request and any potential move to both collapsed, leaving the Hammers holding all the cards in the pack.
We understand that Hernandez will be given a base salary of between £80,000 to £85,000 a week by West Ham with the rest of the wage packet being made up with add-ons and bonuses for goals, assist, appearances and others. Hernandez is expected to make his way back to Europe from his holiday in Mexico to complete the deal either today or tomorrow and should be a part of the squad to fly out to Germany for the second leg of the Hammers pre-season tour on Monday.


Brentford manager Dean Smith has confirmed that his club are yet to receive any offers for West Ham target Jota. Newcastle, West Ham, Everton, Swansea and Burnley have all been credited with an interest in the winger. However, no club has yet come in with a bid for the Spaniard, who shone at Brentford last season.
Jota was led to believe there was an imminent bid. A bid hasn't come in and he's happy to play for Brentford. He'll be available for Southampton. He's looking forward to playing. Jota scored 12 goals in 23 games for the West London club after spending the first half of the season on-loan to Spanish outfit Eibar. The 26-year-old scored 11 Championship goals in the 2014/15 season as Brentford reached the play-off semi-finals, which attracted interest at the time. That earned him a loan move to Eibar, where he failed to really make his mark but that did not stop them from signing him at the start of last season. Jota looks like he could make his permanent exit from Brentford this summer.

Jack Wilshere 'very keen' on joining West Ham: Arsenal star has sent out feelers
JACK WILSHERE is 'very keen' on a move to boyhood club West Ham, reports claim.
PUBLISHED: 06:30, Thu, Jul 20, 2017

Arsenal are ready to let the midfielder leave this summer as they listen to offers. Sampdoria have already tabled a bid of around £7.5million, but the Gunners value the 25-year-old higher than that. Crystal Palace have been linked with interest in a season-long loan move for Wilshere. However, Arsenal would prefer to sell the England international following his productive spell at Bournemouth last year. Wilshere has just 12 months left on his Gunners contract, and no new deal appears to be on the horizon. Loaning the injury-plagued talent out again would leave Arsenal facing the prospect of losing him for free next summer. But few suitors have come forward over a permanent deal so far. The Hammers, however, are plotting to swoop later in the transfer window, according to website The West Ham Way.
The club, who Wilshere supported growing up and continues to follow, would be open to landing the Arsenal ace on loan. While Arsene Wenger would likely be reluctant to sanction that idea, Wilshere is said to be 'very keen' on heading to the London Stadium. Game time will be hard to come by at Arsenal this season as he looks to fight his way back into Gareth Southgate's England plans ahead of the 2018 World Cup. As a result, joining Slaven Bilic's team could help kickstart his career.
West Ham are not prioritising a deal for Wilshere right now as they look to finalise the arrivals of £24m winger Marko Arnautovic from Stoke and ex-Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen. Wilshere's England team-mate Joe Hart has already arrived on a season-long loan from Manchester City.
And the Arsenal man took to social media to express his delight and approval of the switch, saying "great signing" and "see you in London soon" on Hart's Instagram too. The West Ham Way add Wilshere has 'put the feelers out' in a 'come and get me plea' to the Hammers. Bilic has added Pablo Zabaleta and Hart for free, while Hernandez and Arnautovic are set to cost a collective £37m. As a result, a move for Wilshere may yet be funded, although he could have to remain patient at Arsenal with no approach imminent as West Ham monitor his situation while he continues his recovery from a fractured leg suffered in April. The Daily Star claim Arsenal have told West Ham a permanent move would cost £20m, and they would have to agree to a buy-back clause too.


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