Tuesday, August 1

Daily WHUFC News - 1st August 2017

Altona 93 v West Ham United: All you need to know

West Ham United play the third and final fixture of their pre-season visit to Germany when they take on Altona 93 in Hamburg on Tuesday evening.

The Hammers will tackle their Regionalliga Nord opponents at the Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn stadium at 6.30pm local time (5.30pm BST), seeking to build on their encouraging performance in Saturday's 2-2 Betway Cup draw with Werder Bremen.

Here, we let you know where to watch, who will be in action and much more about West Ham's penultimate pre-season fixture...

Where and when?

Altona 93 v West Ham United, Tuesday 2 August 2017, 6.30pm, Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn, Griegstraße 62, 22763, Hamburg, Germany

Where to watch?

Fans can follow the game on Twitter at @westhamutd. A full report, reaction and highlights will be available on whufc.com. Tuesday's match will also be shown live by Premier Sports from 5.30pm.

Matchday squads

Altona 93: Du Preez, Aniteye, Correia Ca, Yilmaz, Wachowski, Hosseini, Lechler, Hinze, Sachs, Brisevac, Kunter, Holz, Rettstadt, Dogan, Novotny, Grundmann, Cayir, Schultz, Siebert, Edeling, Matthai, Thiessen, Grubba, Buzhala

West Ham United: Adrian, Hart, Matrevics, Byram, Zabaleta, Cresswell, Masuaku, Collins, Ogbonna, Fonte, Reid, Burke, Rice, Makasi, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Obiang, Fernandes, Cullen, Holland, Arnautovic, Ayew, Martinez, Chicharito

Team news

West Ham United could hand a first appearance to Mexico star Chicharito in Hamburg, with the striker in line to pull on a Claret and Blue shirt after working hard on his fitness over the weekend. The Hammers also welcome Winston Reid back into the matchday squad for the first time in pre-season. The New Zealand defender is back to fitness after recovering from the shin surgery he underwent just prior to the end of last season. Striker Diafra Sakho is back in training but will not be involved, while Mark Noble is still ruled out with a minor toe injury.

Meet the opposition

Altonaer FC von 1893 was originally formed as Altonaer Cricket Club in Hamburg 124 years ago. The football team is a department of a larger sports club which also offers handball, karate, table tennis, and volleyball.

Altona is one of Germany's oldest football clubs and were founder members of the Altona-Hamburg football league formed in 1894, as well as one of the founding clubs of the German Football Association (DfB) in Leipzig in 1900. Three years later, Altona hosted the first-ever German national championship final played between VfB Leipzig and DFC Prague.

Altona themselves were Northern German champions twice in their early years and have won the Hamburg Cup on four occasions. They now ply their trade in the Regionalliga Nord (Germany's fourth tier) after winning promotion from the Oberliga Hamburg last season.

Player to watch

Chicharito could make his first appearance in a West Ham United shirt in front of a sell-out crowd at Altona 93's 8,000-capacity Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Mexico striker joined up with his new teammates in Germany last Thursday afternoon and has trained hard over the weekend to get up to speed, having returned to pre-season late after appearing at the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Unsurprisingly, Chicharito has never featured in a match against Altona 93, but he did play against their local rivals Hamburger SV three times for Bayer Leverkusen over the previous two seasons - and never ended on the losing side.

Previous meeting

West Ham United have never faced Altona 93 before, but the Hammers were in the Hamburg area as recently as July 2013.

Sam Allardyce's side took on the city's Bundesliga representatives Hamburger SV in the town of Flensburg, 100 miles north on border with Denmark.

Alou Diarra, James Tomkins and Ravel Morrison scored the goals in a 3-1 win, with winger Matt Jarvis providing the assists for all three. Of the current squad, James Collins, Winston Reid and Mark Noble all appeared.

Did you know?

Altona 93 have a special relationship with south London club Dulwich Hamlet dating back nearly 100 years. Initially created by supporters, the close ties between the two see regular friendly matches played in both England and Germany

Altona 93's manager since 2015 is Berkan Algan, a former Turkey and Germany U21 international who was born in Hamburg and enjoyed a long and nomadic playing career with a host of clubs in northern Germany. He had two spells with Altona as a player, scoring 26 goals in 66 games from midfield

Altona 93's stadium is named in honour of their legendary striker Adolf Jäger, who spent 21 years with the club between 1907 and 1927, playing more than 700 games and reputedly scoring more than 2,000 goals. He was a member of the German Olympic squad in 1912, scoring his country's only goal. Jäger died during World War II, while working to defuse Allied bombs in Hamburg.
How to get there

From Hamburg Hauptbanhof, take the S-Bahn line 3 six stops westbound to Hamburg-Altona. The journey should take about 12 minutes. From there, your best option is to walk the 1.2 miles along Ottenser Hauptstraße, Große Brunnenstraße, Behringstraße and Griegstraße or

How to buy tickets

The match is an 8,000 sell out!

Declan Rice admits rise to Hammers prominence has been a 'bit mad'

Declan Rice admits his rise from teenage unknown to Premier League footballer has been 'a bit mad' but is determined to keep his focus on his next target – regular top-flight football. Still just 18, Rice has had quite a year. He captained the U23s to promotion and made his Premier League debut in May, before being called-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad for the first time. Slaven Bilic then included him in the first-team squad for the pre-season training camps in Austria and Germany, where he has appeared in all four matches and even filled a deep-lying midfield role in two Betway Cup ties with Werder Bremen.
"I think I have done very well," said Rice, whose confidence should not be mistaken for arrogance, but rather a belief in his own ability. "I have been very happy with myself in training and I think I have made an impression in games. "Having players around like Mark Noble and James Collins, they just keep egging me on to do better and better and keep getting better, giving me confidence to perform. "Now I have played in midfield in two games I have started to feel a lot more comfortable there. Obviously, centre-back is my favourite position but it is good that I can play in both roles. "I have to keep level-headed, keep focused, keep working hard in training every single day and hopefully the manager gives me my chance. "My next target is to start in the Premier League, that's what I am aiming for. I'll play wherever the manager puts me, centre back or centre midfield, I don't care."

While Rice has fitted seamlessly into Bilic's squad this summer, the teenager himself admits it has been a challenge to get used to the speed of first-team training after spending the majority of the past two years with the U23s. "It is a massive step-up from the U23s to this – with better players, international footballers, everything is a bit more sharper and at a high intensity," he observed. "I think I am raising my game to go along with them, definitely. With the help of the others and the manager I'm getting better each time."

As Rice continues to improve and impress, so his stature will continue to rise, not only among the coaching staff but also among the Claret and Blue Army.
"About a year ago, no-one knew who I was and now, I'm signing autographs for fans here in Germany, it's a bit mad. It's weird people knowing who I am!"
If he continues to play as he has been in pre-season, it will not be weird for much longer.

U18s to kick-off campaign at Brighton

West Ham United U18s will kick-off their 2017/18 Premier League Youth campaign with an away clash at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday 12 August.

The Seagulls finished tenth in the southern section of the division last season, eleven points behind the fourth-placed Hammers, who unlike the south coast side, qualified for Group 1 of the league when it split earlier this year.

Mark Phillips and Steve Potts' side were held to a 2-2 draw in the same fixture last year, with Jahmal Hector-Ingram and Joe Powell – both of whom have impressed for the U23s this pre-season – scoring for the visitors.

West Ham's first competitive fixture back at their Little Heath home will be against Southampton a week later – the same day Slaven Bilic's first team travel to St. Mary's for their second Premier League game.

The following weekend will see the Hammers take on Arsenal at London Colney in the first derby clash of the campaign.

Slaven Bilic: It's time for West Ham players to stake their claim

Slaven Bilic says it is time for his players to stake their claim for a regular place in his matchday squad. The West Ham United manager took an initial squad of more than 25 players to Germany, while the likes of Michail Antonio, Chiekhou Kouyate and Andy Carroll remained in England to work on their fitness. However, with only 18 to be named for the Premier League opener at Manchester United on 13 August, competition for places is hotting up with that fixture now less than a fortnight away. "All the players are happy now," Bilic observed. "It's a pre-season and it's the same in every club – they train brilliantly and all that and they are all hoping they are going to play and be starters in our team. "Then, of course, only eleven or maybe 14 will think 'I'm there' probably, almost definitely, some players will notice that they are not regulars in the beginning of the season, so maybe a few of them will not be happy and some of them will ask for a move, so we've got to be ready for that. "It's my job to think about the team first and foremost and you have to expect these things to happen in every club. When it happens, you have to be ready with some players that are interesting for us and who are not going to be regulars at their clubs!"

With the transfer window open for another month, the prospect of West Ham doing more business – both in and out – is a real one. The Hammers have already brought in four new players – Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Chicharito – while allowing seven to leave London Stadium – Havard Nordtveit, Enner Valencia, Darren Randolph, Ashley Fletcher, Alvaro Arbeloa, Raphael Spiegel and Stephen Hendrie. Young defender Reece Oxford has also joined Borussia Moenchengladbach on a season-long loan. While he does not anticipate upsetting the balance of his squad, Bilic has money to spend and is not ruling out making more signings before the end of August. "You've got to be ready for all situations and be able to predict them if and when they happen, because it's better if you're ready," he observed. "I don't expect any more 'exciting' signings because you don't want to be overbooked in certain positions. You have to respect your players and those who are number two, because you don't want them to be number three in their position. "You only need them in case you have many, many injuries, but of course you can't think like that. If something extraordinary happens, and it can happen because we've done really well without spending crazy money.
"We got four players, one on a free, Joe on loan, we spent good money on Chicharito and Arnautovic, but also Havard is gone to Hoffenheim, Randy has gone, Enner has gone to Mexico and Ash to Middlesbrough. "I presume if something extraordinary happens in the market, then hopefully we're still going to be able to do it, if necessary."

Reece Oxford nets first Borussia Monchengladbach goal

Reece Oxford scored his first goal in a Borussia Monchengladbach shirt on Saturday, levelling in his German side's 2-1 win over Spanish outfit Malaga. The 18-year-old defender, who joined Die Fohlen on a season-long loan earlier this transfer window, rose highest in the penalty area to head home a corner and make it 1-1 in the 77th minute. The teenager had only been introduced on the hour-mark, replacing fellow defender Nico Elvedi before equalising in the pre-season clash in Duisberg. The goal marked an impressive performance at right-back by the Academy of Football graduate having been named Man of the Match after the full-time whistle.
After the game, Oxford said: "I'm happy to score but it's more important that we completed the turnaround." It was Ibrahima Traore who set up the England youth international, swinging in a corner from the left-hand-side for Oxford to nod home with power to cancel out Alejandro Mula Sanchez's opener for Malaga. Brazilian forward Raffael completed the comeback for Gladbach in the 86th minute, netting from the penalty spot. Friday could mark Oxford's return to England as Monchengladbach face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in their final pre-season fixture, before their domestic campaign kicks-off a week later in the DFB-Pokal first round against RW Essen.

Ayew: We are capable of doing good things this season

Andre Ayew is excited by West Ham United's attacking options. The Ghana forward is relishing the prospect of working alongside the likes of summer signings Chicharito and Marko Arnautovic, as well as influential No10 Manuel Lanzini. With Diafra Sakho, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll also working their way towards full fitness, Ayew believes Slaven Bilic has a strong armoury at his disposal. "It's good and I'm happy to see these good players coming in," said Ayew, who provided a superb assist for young Spanish striker Toni Martinez's goal against Werder Bremen on Saturday. "I think we have a good squad, but now we have to do the job on the field and that's another thing altogether. "We already had good players in the squad and now we've added some more good players, so that's really important for a club like West Ham to get to another level. "I feel like we are going to be capable of doing good things but we need to stay humble, work hard and don't think we have done it before time."

Concentrating on Chicharito, Ayew says the Mexican's international and UEFA Champions League experience will be invaluable. Having played under intense scrutiny for hometown club Guadalajara, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and his country, Chicharito has successfully learned how to succeed at the highest level. Ayew also believes his mere presence will boost his new teammates, who will now spend hours on the training pitch devising how to best serve the prolific striker's goal-poaching qualities. "It's good to have players to play alongside who have played for great clubs at the highest level as they know the expectations. Players who have played in the Champions League are what I like. "When you play with players you know have played to that level, especially when you too have played there against them years before, it's good for you as a player, it's good for the club and good for the fans, especially. "I feel he's going to bring a lot of fighting spirit, a lot of trouble for the other defence and we need to start training together to really know what he likes. When you watch games, it's different from when you are training and you get the feeling more to know his movements, what he likes and doesn't like and we have to adapt to him the same way he has to adapt to us. "We will try to find the best ways for him to get goals for us."

Maybe the hardest bit is yet to come
Filed: Monday, 31st July 2017
By: Paul Walker

So far so good, this has been the best transfer window in years at West Ham, but David Sullivan probably knows the toughest bit is yet to come. Our majority shareholder has overseen a very impressive window of action and not words, of very decent signings that are an improvement, every one of them, on what we had before. And many feel there may be one more big money signing still to come, considering the £30m we have raised from outgoing transfers so far.

Sullivan and his team have received deserved praise--yes, even from me (I know, I'll try not to let it happen again!) as we have seen real talent arrive at the London Stadium. Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez have over 700 Premier League appearances between them, and that's just the experience of the English top flight that Slaven Bilic has been crying out for.

But, and there's always a but, sorry, we now have predatory big clubs--well maybe not Everton but certainly Liverpool--sniffing around our squad.

It's the stuff of the summer months. When you are on the receiving end of transfer speculation it is written off as the silly season without any foundation. When you are doing the same thing--Marko springs to mind--it is deadly serious, despite what Stoke were saying.

I am always amused by the predictable comments that always emerge. Firstly a manager says "there have been no bids," then a club insider insists the player is not for sale and under long term contract anyway, then someone gets accused of tapping up said player(pause here for universal laughter throughout the corrupt industry), and then the player slaps in a transfer request and all hell break lose.

It always ends with the player leaving, after training on his own for a while, Dimitri Payet and Virgil van Dijk spring to mind. Players and agents always get their way in the end.

These past few days have seen Everton linked with James Collins and Winston Reid while Liverpool (and Spurs?) are hovering around Manuel Lanzini.

Now West Ham have said all the right things here. Ken Dyer in Monday's Standard reports that the club insist Reid is not for sale. Last week exactly the same thing was said about Lanzini. The response to the Collins stuff was a little different, with our club saying the ball was in Ginge's court and nobody would want to stand in the way of the 33 year-old making a few extra bob if he could.

I understand the Collins situation, but hate the thought of one of our finest servants leaving. He has given everything, blood, sweat and not one tear--not him is it?--for West Ham and we all love him for it.

I would like to see him end his career with us, get some coaching badges and have a job here for life. He deserves that level of respect. Every season he starts as third or fourth-choice centre back and ends up playing half the matches and dragging us out of the mire single handed because the rest can't be trusted to tie their own boots properly.

But he knows he is fourth choice now and that talented kids like Declan Rice, Reece Burke and Reece Oxford--done well in Germany already lads, hasn't he?--are waiting in the wings. He's out of contract next summer and if he fancies a new two-year contract at Everton and a pay rise, who are we to stand in his way? My view Ginge…stay with us, you know you will be a battle-scarred regular come December!

Now the other two. Let's first dismiss all this silly season rubbish. I doubt there is one approach, one transfer, one move anywhere, that the player, his agent and family don't know about well in advance.

It's a total fallacy to suggest otherwise. No club goes into a potential deal without testing the water first, is the player interested, how much money is on offer, what's the contract like and can he have a nice mansion in Southport?

Not for one second do Reid and Lanzini's people not know everything there is to know about potential moves for their players. So West Ham can deny it all, pour on cold water, whatever. Payet showed how it's done, and so too did Jose Fonte (to a lesser extent) and Arnautovic as well.

Stoke have been pretty pissed off by that deal, because we have taken their best player. And there are a few Stoke fans of my acquaintance who have long been unimpressed by Marko's brother/agent. Ho hum, it's just the way of business.

The one bit that does worry me is that Reid is yet to sign a new, promised contract yet. I have searched the club website, and various worthy and creditable fans' blogs and news websites to no avail.

Reid got the hump last season when Fonte arrived on allegedly bigger wages. He was promised more and the last I saw was a proposed deal that increased his buy-out to £15m and his wages in line with his Portuguese team-mate. That was a couple of months ago. Has it been fully negotiated or even signed? If not a few folk at the LS need to get their act together.

That's why, it seems, that the potential fee is only £9m, with buy-anything-that-moves Everton looking for a deal to cover for injured defender Ramiro Funes Mori. Firstly, that fee is a joke. Reid is our best defender, occasional captain and key part of our defence. He's worth well north of £20m to us.

Reid, represented by the Danish based ApS agency, is well aware of his value to us and it's no surprise that transfer talk starts while contract talks are ambling their way to conclusion.

Michail Antonio, or to be precise his agent Will Salthouse, also talked a lot about a transfer out of the club while they were trying, successfully in the end, to hammer out a new four year deal on near double-your-money wages. The pattern of negotiations is so blindingly obvious every time.

Lanzini has a similar contract position. He were told a month back that he was next on the list for a new deal. Antonio, Pedro Obiang and Angelo Ogbonna have got theirs. Manu has been away rubbing shoulders with Lionel Messi and winning his first caps for Argentina, so he certainly knows his worth now if not before.

We need to sort this deal out double quick. He has become absolutely key to us, after a great season in the wake of Payet's departure. The mere thought of him going to Liverpool if Philippe Coutinho moves on to Barcelona is too horrific to contemplate.

West Ham know all too well that such a move for Lanzini, Reid too, goes against everything they have been working for this summer. Expectation has been raised, good players signed, people are enthused again. Losing your best players is not the way to maintain respect from the fans.

But there is always 'no smoke without fire' in transfer rumours. Maybe these transfer rumblings are just that. Summer fiction, but Sullivan knows he dare not let such situations run and run. New contracts, bigger wages etc are in order. But then, as we found with Payet and Stoke found with Arnautovic, even that may not be enough. Let's hope not and I am worrying for no reason.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

West Ham will not sell Winston Reid amid £9m Everton transfer links
Evening Standard

West Ham look certain to reject any interest in Winston Reid with reports suggesting Everton are considering a £9million move for the central defender. Everton are the second Merseyside club to be linked with a West Ham player of late, with Liverpool chasing playmaker Manuel Lanzini. Ronald Koeman's Toffees are said to be looking at New Zealand international Reid as cover for Ramiro Funes Mori, but West Ham are intent on keeping the 29-year-old at London Stadium as the 2017-18 Premier League season approaches. Liverpool are still reported to be interested in Argerntina international Lanzini should Barcelona be successful in prising Philippe Coutinho away from Anfield. But West Ham are determined to keep the 24-year-old playmaker as well, with the club cautious of sending out the wrong message having boosted morale and expectations by bringing in the likes of Javier Hernandez, Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic.
West Ham drew 2-2 against Werder Bremen on Saturday, with Arnautovic scoring his first club for the East London club.

Man City vs West Ham: Friendly prediction, team news, start time, live, TV, head to head, odds
Evening Standard

West Ham face a true test of their Premier League ambitions on Friday as they are pitted against Pep Guardiola's title-chasing Manchester City in Iceland. The Hammers have moved decisively in the market following a slow start to the summer transfer window, with Javier Hernandez the star signing along with Marko Arnautovic, Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was so impressed with the Hammers' business that he has marked them out as potential title contenders. But Slaven Bilic will have a clearer picture of his side's potential when they come up against the might of Man City in Reykjavik - the first clash between two Premier League teams in the country.

Man City take on West Ham at the Laugardalsvollur Stadium in Reykjavik, Iceland. The match kicks off at 3pm (GMT) on August 4.

TV and live online coverage

The match will not be televised live on TV in the UK. You can follow all the build-up and action from 12pm with Standard Sport's London Football live blog.

Team news

Pablo Zalabeta is set for an early reunion with his former club after spending nine years at City. Goalkeeper Hart - currently on loan at West Ham from City - is another who may be taking on some familiar faces, while £16m striker Hernandez will almost certainly get some minutes as he builds fitness following his Confederations Cup appearances. City have confirmed that Claudio Bravo and Bernardo Silva could play after their extended holidays following the confederations Cup. However, £52m wing-back Benjamin Mendy and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan are out through injury.

Chicharito won't wear No. 14 at West Ham
July 31, 2017 3:35pm
Jon Arnold
Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

Premier League, West Ham UnitedIt's still not totally decided which number the Mexico forward will be sporting with the London club, but he's ruled out his traditional digits Fans looking forward to buying a new West Ham United shirt with forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's name and number on the back will have to wait a little longer to see exactly what that number will be. Mexico's all-time leading scorer was presented at West Ham after joining the London side from Bayer Leverkusen but still isn't sure which number he'll sport with the Hammers. It does appear, though, that his days wearing his traditional No. 14 may be over.
"I've got a little bit of an idea, but I can't say yet. They're going to announce it when they have a bit of an idea what the rest of the club's movements are like," he told Fox Sports. "Something that we do have in mind is that I'm not going to use the 14. We'll see what number I end up with." The forward likely will make his West Ham debut against his former club Manchester United when the teams meet in the first match of the season on Aug. 13. "It's going to be a very special weekend. Who would've thought my return to the English league would be playing at the place I called home with my old club?" Hernandez said. "It'll be really nice. I'm very motivated, very hopefully to be there that weekend, also just because it'll be start of the season.

Real Betis launch bid for West Ham target Ryad Boudebouz
By Jay Williams - Jul 31, 2017 0

Spanish side Real Betis have launched a bid for West Ham United target Ryad Boudebouz, according to reports coming out of France. French media outlet France Football is reporting that Real Betis have offered €7m for Montpellier star Ryad Boudebouz. There are many clubs interested in the Ligue 1 play maker, who caught the eye last season. Alongside Real Betis and West Ham, the likes of Sampdoria, Newcastle United and Bayer Leverkusen are credited with an interest in the Algerian international. However, it is La Liga outfit Real Betis who have firmed up their interest with the first bid, testing the water at €7m. Montpellier are thought to be holding out for a fee closer to €15m for Ryad Boudebouz after his impressive year for the South France side. In 33 Ligue 1 appearances, Boudebouz weighed in with eleven goals and nine assists, catching the attention of a number of top clubs across Europe. West Ham have some decent options in the attacking midfield regions after snapping up Marko Arnautovic. Arnautovic will compete with Manuel Lanzini, Andre Ayew and Michail Antonio for the attacking midfield spots but peripheral players Robert Snodgrass and Sofiane Feghouli could be moved on to bring someone like Boudebouz in. France Football believe that the 27-year-old's market value is between €8m and €12m.

West Ham signing Javier Hernandez gives fans a right to dream… and at just £16million he is a bargain in today's transfer market
Ex-Manchester United forward is the answer to the Hammers' striker crisis and has plenty of gas left in the tank at just 29
By ExWHUemployee
31st July 2017, 11:48 am Updated: 31st July 2017, 12:00 pm

LAST summer West Ham fans were promised a proven goalscorer. But instead of a marque signing, we ended up with Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri – who managed a grand total of one league goal between them. Inevitably, West Ham fans were very pessimistic and worried that, once again this summer, we would fail to land a top quality goalscorer and still be reliant on the injury prone Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll. Thankfully our prayers have been answered. Not only have we landed a top quality, proven goalscorer, but we have done it at a snip in today's over-inflated transfer market. Javier Hernandez is Mexico's all-time top scorer and has netted at the very top level for Manchester United and Real Madrid. He is exactly the sort of player we had been crying out for — and a bargain at just £16million. At 29, he still has many years left in the tank. We were quoted nearly £40m to sign another 29-year-old in Anthony Modeste – and he is not in the same league as Hernandez when it comes to finding the back of the net. Already, Chicharito has settled in well to the squad and players have said he has taken no time to forge close friendships. Jose Mourinho spoke very highly of the player and said had he not already bought Romelu Lukaku then he would have been after our Little Pea. This speaks volumes in itself. There is a genuine buzz around the club about this signing and I don't think our supporters have been this excited since we landed two South American superstars in 2006 in Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. Hopefully he will stay longer than they did. So far this window, our transfers have been exactly what we needed. We have shifted a lot of dead wood on high wages and brought in proven Premier League quality in Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Hernandez. I feel that we could really do with another forward to take the burden off Hernandez, possibly one that is equally at home on the wing to give an alternative option. It is fitting that Hernandez will make his debut for us at Old Trafford. Alongside two City favourites, I am hoping another famous result for us at the Theatre of Dreams becomes a reality.

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West Ham pulled out of Kelechi Iheanacho move due to ongoing agent issues
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United had been linked with the Manchester City player earlier in the transfer window. According to All Nigeria Soccer, West Ham United made the early decision to pull out of a move for Kelechi Iheanacho due to the issues surrounding his agent representation. A number of different reasons have been suggested for why the Hammers opted not to pursue a potential bargain move for the Manchester City forward. However it is now being claimed that West Ham knew early on of the dispute between First Eleven Management and Stellar Group and decided to step aside because the issue was not resolved. Manchester City's Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (C) misses with thsi shot as Stoke City's English defender Ryan Shawcross (R) tries to defend during the English Premier League...
That allowed Leicester City to make their move. The problem is until the issue of who actually represents Iheanacho comes to a head, he will remain at City player.
In hindsight West Ham were wise to step aside and focus their attention elsewhere. They have brought in Javier Hernandez - a truly exciting striker signing who could go down a storm at the London Stadium after a recent history of uninspiring additions. Marko Arnautovic has also arrived and together with the Mexican he should form a fine attacking partnership for the Hammers. There is no doubt Iheanacho will score goals wherever he is playing next season and beyond. But on reflection it seems West Ham were made aware of the issue early and decided they did not have time to waste. Not everything the West Ham hierarchy have done in recent summers should be applauded, yet in this instance it appears they got it spot on. After all, had West Ham put all their eggs in one basket and banked solely on Iheanacho their fans would still be waiting for a new goal-scorer.

Kelechi Iheanacho May Remain At Man City, Why West Ham Opted Out
Published: July 31, 2017

Kelechi Iheanacho May Remain At Man City, Why West Ham Opted Out The future of Africa's most promising talent Kelechi Iheanacho remains unresolved, less than two weeks before the beginning of the 2017-2018 campaign, and a month before the World Cup qualifiers versus Cameroon. The Citizens number seventy two's transfer to Leicester City is being delayed due to a dispute between his intermediaries First Eleven Management and Stellar Group. Contrary to speculations in the media, allnigeriasoccer.com has been informed by sources in the know that West Ham pulled the plug on the signing of Iheanacho because the legal issue was not yet addressed. City manager Pep Guardiola has backtracked on his earlier statement and has now revealed that the Nigerian may remain at the Etihad Stadium at the close of the transfer window. ''I think Kelechi leaves us in favour of Leicester. I think so, but I do not want to say anything wrong either.'' ''We will see. If that does not happen, he will be part of the group,'' Guardiola stated. The 2017-2018 campaign is a World Cup season and Iheanacho is worried that he won't get playing opportunities if he remains at Manchester City.

Real Betis reportedly make low bid for Ryad Boudebouz, West Ham must act fast
Charlie Hayward

The Algerian playmaker has been linked with a switch to West Ham this summer. If West Ham want to sign Ryad Boudebouz this summer they will have to move fast. Reports from France Football suggest that Real Betis have made a bid for the Algerian creator. The La Liga club have tabled an opening offer of £6.2m for Boudebouz, which France Football say is below Montpellier's asking price. Offers of between £7.15m and £8.94m are more likely to be well received by the Ligue 1 club and, at that price, West Ham must pull the trigger. France Football name Sampdoria and Bayer Leverkusen alongside the Hammers as parties interested in the 25-cap Algerian international, so if Betis' bid starts a flurry of action, West Ham will need to move quickly. Boudebouz was one of the most creative players in Europe's top five leagues last season, and played more key passes than any other player according to Who Scored. The 27-year-old has registered 21 league assists for Montpellier in the last two campaigns and would be an ideal replacement for Dimitri Payet's missing creativity at the London Stadium. His arrival would add to the already impressive list of acquisitions Slaven Bilic has made this summer. Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic are all on board and Boudebouz would top off that list quite nicely.

Manuel Lanzini back for West Ham gym session after minor knee injury
The Argentine star joined in with the Hammers players again on Monday
Football London
12:00, 31 JUL 2017

Manuel Lanzini has been back in West Ham training on Monday morning as he took part in a gym session at the training camp in Rotenburg. The Argentine star had missed the past two Betway Cup games with a minor knee injury problem and there were fears previously the injury could have been significant. But, West Ham posted on their Instagram page this morning Lanzini riding on a cycling machine alongside captain Mark Noble as "The Jewel" steps up his recovery. Striker Diafra Sakho was also part of the session for the first time this season, having been training on his own previously as recovers from hamstring and back problems.
The Hammers players, who had a day off from training on Sunday in Rotenburg, were back at it this morning and will likely have another session this afternoon, with one more scheduled for Tuesday morning. They will then take on Altona 93 in Hamburg in the evening in their final pre-season friendly of the Germany trip before heading off to Iceland to take on Manchester City in Reykjavik.

Diafra Sakho hands West Ham massive boost as he returns to first team squad for training
The Senegalese striker is back in training with the squad after another injury nightmare
Football London
11:00, 31 JUL 2017

Diafra Sakho has rejoined the West Ham first team squad for training in Rotenburg on Monday morning, providing Slaven Bilic with a huge boost ahead of the new season. The Hammers posted a video of Sakho on a cycling machine iad straight after it, other members of the Hammers squad doing the same thing. The striker has been working extremely hard in training over the past week or so to get himself fit enough to return to first team training although any return to action is expected to be a long way off. Football.London witnessed Sakho going through daily gruelling fitness regimes by himself in Bothel and Rotenburg with members of the club coaching staff away from the main group as he built up his fitness levels ahead of a full return to training. The Hammers players, fresh off a day off on Sunday, were ut through their paces in a gym session this morning, with an outdoor session expected later this afternoon. Sakho featured just three times for the Hammers last season against Tottenham and Macnchester United - twice - before suffering a hamstring problem in the league cup loss at Old Trafford just a few weeks after recovering from what appears to be a chronic back injury. That had kept him out of action long-term and also scuppered a move to West Bromwich Albion last summer.

Without a new deal for Bilic, David Gold's West Ham youngsters u-turn means nothing
The chairman has backtracked on his stance on the youth players but there's more to it than just that
Football London
08:25, 31 JUL 2017

David Gold now believes West Ham could have the best crop of youngsters seen at the club in a decade, which is in stark contrast to what he said a couple of months ago. The success of the U23s in gaining promotion to Division One of PL2, seeing some of them on the bench for the Premier League team and then Declan Rice getting some game time against Burnley at the end of last season, the kids are doing alright. Now, Nathan Holland and Declan Rice are shining on pre-season tour, Josh Cullen and Reece Burke are doing well too and Toni Martinez scored his first senior goal for the Hammers on Saturday. They aren't doing too bad for some players are unlikely to "break into a team of seasoned internationals," which is what Gold has said. But one thing hinges on the future of these youngsters at the club and that is Slaven Bilic, who is entering the final year of his current contract at West Ham. Understandably when results weren't good last season the club didn't enter contract negotiations but the club has backed him to the tune of £23m for Marko Arnautovic and £16m for Javier Hernandez, plus a loan deal for Joe Hart in this transfer window. Bilic chose to bring Holland, Rice, Martinez, Burke, Cullen and Moses Makasi on pre-season tour to Austria and Germany and he needs to be backed to develop them as well. You can add Reece Oxford into the equation, currently on a season-long loan at Borussia Monchengladbach. With some of the seasoned internationals underwhelming massively, the opportunity is now there for the youth stars, who are learning quickly under Bilic and what would happen to their development if a new boss came in next year?
The "Academy of Football" moniker couldn't have been more wrong over the past couple of seasons but now it is starting to show signs of making a return. Along with academy director Terry Westley, Bilic needs to be at the forefront of it.



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