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Daily WHUFC News - 31st May 2018

Zabaleta: Pellegrini always plays to win

Pablo Zabaleta is acutely aware of the qualities Manuel Pellegrini brings to West Ham United. It is 17 years since the Argentinian defender and Chilean manager's paths first crossed, 7,000 miles from London Stadium in the Flores district of Buenos Aires. Back then, Zabaleta was a 17-year-old reserve-team player for San Lorenzo, while Pellegrini was in charge of the first team. The teenager watched, impressed, as the manager led the Blue and Red to the 2001 Primera Division Clausura title and Copa Mercosur – South America's equivalent of the UEFA Europa League. A few seasons later, in 2005/06, they would come face to face again, but this time on opposite sides, as Pellegrini's Villarreal beat Zabaleta's Espanyol twice on their way to finishing seventh in Spain's La Liga. The full-back moved to England with Manchester City in 2008 and, five years on, Pellegrini joined him. As was the case at San Lorenzo more than a decade before, the manager brought immediate success, but this time Zabaleta was at the centre of it, making 35 appearances as City won the Premier League in May 2014 – clinching the title with a 2-0 win over the Club which now employs them both again. Across the three seasons Zabaleta and Pellegrini worked together in the Warehouse City, the player made more than 100 appearances, adding two League Cup winner's medals, and the popular Hammer is looking forward to joining forces with his fellow South American again.
"Manuel Pellegrini is a very successful manager with great football experience, not just in England but in many different leagues," said West Ham's No5. "When I was a teenager with the San Lorenzo club in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, I was in the second team and he was the first-team manager. "He did well when we were at San Lorenzo. He had success there, he built a good team, won the Primera Division title and set some records. "After he left San Lorenzo he went to River Plate and won another Primera Division title. He was always keen on youth development, too, bringing through good young players who went on to do very well. "He went to Spain with Villarreal and did a great job, taking them to the Champions League semi-finals. I played against his teams many times when I was with Espanyol and they were always very tough opponents. "He did well at Real Madrid and Malaga, then he came to Manchester City, where we worked together for three seasons and won the Premier League title and some other big competitions. "He's a very quiet person, but he is also very determined and very strong in his belief about how football should be played. He likes to play good, attractive football, and he plays to win, which the fans of all the clubs he has managed have always enjoyed. "He has always been a good manager and I am sure he will show that again with West Ham. I welcome him to the Club and wish him good luck."

Lanzini starts for Argentina in World Cup warm-up win

Manuel Lanzini helped Argentina to a 4-0 FIFA World Cup warm-up win over Haiti in Buenos Aires on Tuesday evening. The West Ham United attacking midfielder was named in the starting XI by manager Jorge Sampaoli and played for the opening 58 minutes at Boca Juniors' Bombonera stadium. The 25-year-old played alongside Paris Saint-Germain's Giovani Lo Celso and ahead of former Hammer Javier Mascherano in central midfield, with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Lo Celso's PSG teammate Angel Di Maria supporting Juventus' Gonzalo Higuain in a star-studded attack.
It was Messi who took centre-stage, scoring his sixth international hat-trick, with Lanzini starting in the move for his third goal. The West Ham player found the overlapping Higuain, whose cross was headed goalwards by Lo Celso. Haiti goalkeeper Johnny Placide saved well, but Messi was on hand to score his 64th international goal. Manchester City's Sergio Aguero climbed off the substitutes' bench to net the fourth and final goal midway through the second half. By then, Lanzini's work had been done against a Haiti team who were outclassed by two-time World Cup winners, as he was replaced by Independiente's Maximiliano Meza just before the hour-mark. Lanzini, who won his fourth cap in his home city, will harbour real hopes of starting Argentina's opening World Cup Group D fixture against Iceland in Moscow on Saturday 16 June. Before then, La Celeste face Israel in Jerusalem in their final warm-up fixture on Saturday 9 June.

Ray: Successful WSL bid shows West Ham has a bright future

West Ham United Ladies general manager Karen Ray says the Hammers' successful WSL bid is just one of a host of examples of the investment the Club is making in its long-term future. The Ladies became one of just eleven clubs to be awarded Tier 1 status as part of a nationwide restructuring of the women's game on Monday, meaning they will kick-off the 2018/19 season in the top-flight alongside the likes of champions Chelsea and their fellow UEFA Women's Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool. Ray pointed to the Club's backing of a bid described as 'extremely impressive' by the FA Women's Football Board, as well as plans to redevelop the Academy's base at Chadwell Heath and the ever-expanding work done by the West Ham United Foundation, as confirmation of the Hammers' bright future. "The Club has shown huge investment in the Ladies and the U23s, with the development they are doing at Chadwell Heath, and the work we do in the community also continues to grow," she said. "The Ladies section of this is a huge part of it and we're a very accessible team, so we'll be able to provide opportunities for the community and work alongside the boys' Academy as we move into professional status."

Focusing on the Ladies section, Ray is relishing the prospect of English football's biggest clubs visiting Rush Green – which will also undergo summer improvements outlined in the WSL bid – when the new campaign kicks-off in September. By then, a new first-team manager and a number of top-class players will have joined West Ham's first full-time professional female squad. "At the moment, the players people relate to are the players who play for the top clubs and hopefully, once they start coming to watch our games at West Ham, they'll see we have some big names and top players at our club as well," Ray confirmed. "Those games we're going to be playing against the Chelseas, Arsenals and Manchester Citys are one of the reasons why we went ahead with our WSL bid. We're looking forward to them, we're not fearing them and looking forward to inviting people down and seeing how professionally we do things. I think people will be surprised with what we've got going on.

"Managing director Jack Sullivan and I have been working really hard behind the scenes to strategically place a new coach to get ready for this and we're looking forward to being able to announce the news. "We've been working behind the scenes for a month now behind the scenes to get ourselves ready for the good news, if it came, and thankfully we're now in a position to offer those players we've been speaking to full-time contracts. "There is going to be some very exciting news coming out with regard to the new coach and then some new players we're bringing in. "Hopefully the young girls within our community will be able to relate to the girls on the pitch and look forward to seeing new role models out there alongside the ones who are already there."

While Ray knows challenging for a WSL title may be an ambitious target in year one, she is determined to build a squad and staff capable of competing at the highest level, on and off the pitch. "Katie Brazier, The FA's head of women's leagues and competitions, has obviously been quoted as saying that the aim was to have an even number of teams in the new WSL, but because of how strong our bid was, they couldn't say 'No' to us, which is a really big compliment coming from one of the heads of women's football. We're really proud of that. "I think they've done the right thing in putting us up to Tier 1 because we're ready for it and we have the infrastructure and the support of the Club and the wider community. "We had more than 1,300 fans come to watch our final league game and that shows the interest in what we're trying to do and the attractiveness of women's football and what it's becoming."

West Ham closing in on Marlon deal
Filed: Wednesday, 30th May 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are said to be closing in on the capture of Barcelona defender Marlon Santos. As KUMB reported earlier this week, new Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has moved swiftly to resolve the club's defensive issues by lining up the 22-year-old Brazilian. And according to reports in Spain, Barcelona have accepted an offer in the region of €15million for the central defender, who spent last season on loan in France with OGC Nice but is set to agree a five-year contract with West Ham.
The front page of Wednesday's Daily Sport also runs with the story, suggesting that the Catalans - who were initially seeking €20million for the defender - will allow Marlon to join West Ham for the cut price fee, which equates to some £13million.
A product of the Fluminense Academy in Brazil, Marlon originally signed for Barcelona on a season-long loan in 2016, making his debut in a Champions League tie against Celtic. Having impressed in Spain he was snapped up on a four-year contract for €5million. Yet despite impressing initially, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde allowed Marlon to join Nice last summer on a two-year loan deal with a €20million option-to-buy - a clause that has now apparently been triggered by the mystery English club.

By Iain Dale 30 May 2018 at 08:00

We've always been strong in wide positions but is this still the case? I'm not sure it is…

Joao Mario
Joao Mario certainly didn't look like a £39 million player when he arrived and it took him some time to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League. By the end of the season we began to see the real player. He scored a couple of goals and was arguably our best player against Everton in the last match. If we can get him for £20 million, I'd say we should do so, but this looks unlikely with Milan holding our for at least £26 million. His agent is touting him around, so a long game might well attract a bargain. He scored in Portugal's friendly against Tunisia this week. I suppose the peril in playing a long game is the fact that if he has a stunning World Cup his value will shoot up again.

Michail Antonio
He certainly didn't have his best season last time around and was plagued by injury after injury and persistently being played out of position. I've almost forgotten what his best position actually is, and I fear he might have done so too. Crystal Palace are rumoured to see him as a replacement for Wilfred Zaha. Given his ability to score goals and his speed, we would be mad to consider selling hi,. He's a real Pellegrini type of player and I think the new manager will get the best out of him.

Manuel Lanzini
Our 'Little Jewel' had a great season, which would have been even better without his injuries. He still managed 27 games, scoring a crucul five goals – many of them spectacular – in the process. His beauty is his versatility, and can play wide left or centre midfield. I'd love to see him play in the hole behind two strikers, rather like Eyal Berkovic used to. If he has a good World Cup expect big clubs to sniff around him.

Robert Snodgrass
Snodgrass has been a success at every club he has played for, apart from West Ham, for whom he has made only 15 appearances without troubling the scorers. His season as Villa Park on loan proved highly successful and there's little doubt that Steve Bruce will want to sign him on a permanent basis. The only question is the fee. We'd certainly be looking to recoup most of the £10 million we paid for him. I see little point in him remaining at West Ham.

We need to sign two quality wingers, to play on either side. Antonio and Lanzini can be injury prone and also need the competition.

West Ham ready for challenge of Women's Super League, says Jack Sullivan
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 30/05/18 1:16pm

West Ham Ladies are ready to take their place in Women's Super League, according to managing director Jack Sullivan. The Hammers were the biggest winners from the Football Association's recent restructure of the women's football pyramid after being promoted two divisions into the top flight of the women's game.
From next season, West Ham will play in a new, fully professional top division made up of 11 teams. Sullivan, who was a guest on Sky Sports News' Sportswomen show, said: "Obviously it is going to be very hard, it is going to be tough, but I think that is the same for anyone who jumps up even one division. "We're jumping two divisions but it's exciting, we've been planning for the last two months to try to make sure that everything is ready and everything is perfect. "I don't think it will be too much of a jump. We know what to expect, obviously, the playing standard is going to rise but it very exciting and we're looking forward to the adventure."
All clubs must meet new, full-time criteria and run a youth academy. Karen Ray, West Ham Ladies general manager, added: "It would be hard to find another team with people in the backroom staff that have as much passion about this as us. "The infrastructure that we have supersedes most others. It is a really exciting team and the support I've had from everyone in and around has been absolutely phenomenal. "I've learned so much from working alongside Jack about his side of the business and it's going to continue to grow".

The new look second tier, re-named the FA Women's Championship, requires the players to be part-time. Charlton, Leicester, Sheffield United and Lewes have been successful in their bids - alongside Manchester United who will create a new team from scratch after disbanding their women's team 13 years ago. Sunderland are the biggest losers among the current top-flight teams. They finished seventh in 2017-18 but will miss out on next season's competition.

West Ham target Skorupski hints at summer transfer
By Josh Challies - May 30, 2018 0

Manuel Pellegrini has plenty of work to do at West Ham this summer and one of his most important pieces of business is identifying a new first-choice stopper. Joe Hart has returned to Manchester City after a disappointing loan spell at the London Stadium, while speculation also suggests that Adrian could be on the way out.
Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb have stated that the Hammers are keen on the services of Roma stopper Lukas Skorupski, who has struggled for first-team football in the Italian capital. That's handed West Ham a boost in the market as Football Italia quote the goalkeeper as suggesting to Polish outlet Sportwefakty that a summer transfer is on the cards. Playing as understudy to Brazil international Alisson at the Stadio Olimpico last season, 27-year-old Skorupski made just two appearances across all competitions.

Manchester United want Marko Arnautovic from West Ham
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 30/05/18 5:03pm

Manchester United are interested in signing West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic, according to Sky sources. Sky Sports News understands the Hammers have no intention of the selling the 29-year-old and value him at £50m. Arnautovic joined West Ham from Stoke for a club-record £25m fee last summer and scored 11 goals during his debut season with the club. The Austria international, who also contributed six assists during the 2017/18 campaign, has four years left to run on his contract at the London Stadium. Arnautovic previously worked with United manager Jose Mourinho during their time together at Inter Milan in 2009. He made only three appearances for Inter during an unsuccessful loan spell at the San Siro from FC Twente and subsequently joined Werder Bremen in the summer of 2010.
Meanwhile, United remain in talks to sign Porto full-back Diogo Dalot and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of next season. Sky sources understand West Ham are in talks to sign Genoa defender Armando Izzo and are also interested in Barcelona defender Marlon Santos with new manager Manuel Pellegrini aiming to sign up to five players this summer.

West Ham will not sell Marko Arnautovic amid Manchester United links
ES Sport

West Ham's club record signing Marko Arnautovic is not for sale this summer. The Austrian, who joined from Stoke for an initial £20million with add-ons a year ago, is reportedly of interest to his former manager Jose Mourinho and Manchester United this summer as they look to close the gap on Manchester City, though no bid has been made as of yet. However, the east London club, who are aiming high once more having appointed Manuel Pellegrini as David Moyes' successor, consider Arnautovic off limits to any suitors. The 29-year-old endured a slow start to his career in east London, however, under the guise of Moyes, scored 11 Premier League goals – the first West Ham player to reach double figures since Diafra Sakho in the 2014/15 season – and was named Hammer of the Year, Players' Player of the Year and Signing of the Season at the club's end of season awards last month. The Hammers are set for a busy summer with Pellegrini set to be handed at least £75million to spend and while that will be partially funded by player sales, Arnautovic is very much staying put.

Man Utd transfer news: West Ham fear Jose Mourinho will land Marko Arnautovic deal
MANCHESTER UNITED's interest in West Ham star Marko Arnautovic has sent fear around the London Stadium, according to reports.
PUBLISHED: 17:47, Wed, May 30, 2018 | UPDATED: 18:03, Wed, May 30, 2018

Manchester United have emerged as possible suitors for West Ham star Arnautovic as Jose Mourinho targets Premier League glory next season. The Austria international only left Stoke 12 months ago, signing for West Ham in a huge £24million transfer. However, Manchester United are now being linked with Mourinho supposedly determined to secure a reunion. Mourinho previously managed the forward at Inter Milan, where the duo had a rocky relationship. Yet Guardian journalist Jacob Steinberg say West Ham fear Arnautovic becoming distracted. He said on Twitter: "West Ham insistent that Marko Arnautovic is not for sale despite more links with Manchester United. "Concern for West Ham will be that the talk will unsettle Arnautovic. "Mind you, if they get a stupidly high offer for a 29-year-old, there's an argument they should take it."
United's interest in Arnautovic suggests Mourinho is about to change his transfer plans. Because, earlier this year, he claimed the Red Devils would not be prioritising any forwards following their signing of Alexis Sanchez in January. He said: "It's bad for you because you like to have things to write and things to speculate especially in the summer, but I don't want attacking players so don't speak about attacking players coming here because nobody is coming here.
"Juan Mata, Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Alexis…I don't want attacking players so for speculation in the summer you have to go to other areas, but for attacking players I am really happy. "We have to improve not in the quality of the players, we have to improve in the dynamic of the team and in the efficiency."

The transfer tricks employed by Mario Husillos at Malaga that may work to West Ham's advantage
The Argentine is expected to take over as West Ham's new head of recruitment and join Manuel Pellegrini in the capital
By Sam Inkersole West Ham Correspondent
13:45, 30 MAY 2018

West Ham are close to appointing Mario Husillos as the club's new head of recruitment, having dispensed with the services of Tony Henry in February this year.
The Argentine worked with new Hammers manager Manuel Pellegrini at Spanish side Malaga where they reached the Champions League quarter final and also earned their highest-ever La Liga finish. Husillos has been hand-picked by Pellegrini to take charge of transfers and take some of the decision-making away from West Ham co-owner David Sullivan, though he will still have some say in transfers. Husillos returned to Malaga earlier this year and signed eight new players though it didn't particularly work very well as the Spanish side were relegated to the Segunda Division, with many fans pointing the blame at the transfer guru for the failings. Working with Pellegrini in Spain, Husillos helped sign and develop the likes of Isco, Nacho Monreal, Juanmi, Joaquin, Jesus Gamez and Jeremy Toulalan before all were sold on for big profits.
When it was announced that Husillos was returning to the club in February, he spoke at a press conference where he revealed how he operates in the transfer market. With that in mind, it could give hints as to how he will approach this current transfer window for West Ham if he gets the job. Back in February, the former Real Murcia manager said: "When you arrive at a team, unless you do so well in advance, with a very long-term project, it's always a delicate moment. When a new sports director arrives, or a new coach, people tend to focus on changes. I, usually, believe in the people who are here, they are the most important. "The main thing is to try and help, see what you can do, and what you can make available to them. Then, I think there's a great match with the needs of the team.
"I think it'll be an incentive for everyone. People who were playing more regularly will now have more competition. This will increase the internal rivalry within the squad. That was the objective."

Leicester recruitment chief Eduardo Macia has also been linked with the post but it's looking increasingly likely that Husillos will get the job and it can be seen as a win for Pellegrini, who hand-picked Husillos, to take the job in his first victory of power at West Ham. Pellegrini is likely to have a huge say in transfers as well, with the 64-year-old manager saying he wants to bring in at least four or five new players to the Hammers after a couple of seasons of struggle at the London Stadium.

West Ham have been linked with the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Yaya Toure and Adama Traore in recent days, alongside Nice defender Marlon and have ong standing interest in Fulham duo Tom Cairney and Ryan Fredericks though both achieved promotion to the Premier League at the weekend as the Whites beat Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Date: 30th May 2018 at 2:20pm
Written by: Wayne Howard

Manuel Pellegrini will offer a West Ham lifeline to attacker Robert Snodgrass, according to Football London. The Trinity Mirror site claim the new Hammers manager is keen to give a second chance to winger Snodgrass after a successful season on loan at Aston Villa. The Scotland international was criticised by managing director Karren Brady after he struggled to make an impact following his £10.2million move from Hull City in January of last year before he joined Villa. Writing in the Sun newspaper last December about January signing plans, Brady said: "Robert Snodgrass wasn't exactly a triumph, while Hammers fans could name several foreign players who added little. "The obvious fact is we need one or two who the manager believes will be a real plus. But no bargains that fall apart under the Prem's pressure."


Pellegrini is a considerably better judge of a footballer than Brady, or her partners in boardroom chaos, David Sullivan and David Gold. Quite why they were so publicly critical last season of Snodgrass, a fine player who is still on their books and a bankable asset, is a mystery and symptomatic of their appalling lack of discretion. There isn't a Championship club out there – and a few Premier League ones, too – who wouldn't bite the two Davids' hands off if there was a sniff of landing Snodgrass for a bargain fee. He showed at Villa that he remains a winger of class and potency, whose crossing and dead-ball expertise is on a completely different level to most players in the English second tier. Little wonder Pellegrini is keen to have a good look at the Scot in pre-season, although it might require all the Chilean's famed charm to get Snodgrass back on board after the appalling comments of Brady and co.

Martin Odegaard transfer latest: Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham target available as he will NOT join Heerenveen again
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham are all on red alert after teen star Martin Odegaard revealed he will not be returning to Heerenveen. The 19-year-old has spent the last 18 months on loan at the Dutch club from Real Madrid and he has caught the eye there. The attacking midfielder is now keen to continue his development, but he is unsure if he will get enough game time at the Bernabeu next season. Before he joined Heerenveen, Liverpool and West Ham were chasing Odegaard – while Spurs are now said to also have an interest in him. And the Denmark international has given the Premier League trio a big boost by revealing he won't be going back to the Netherlands for another loan. "The important thing is to go to a team where I can play," Odegaard told Norwegian agency NTB. "A loan to another Spanish club is a good alternative, but right now I don't know a whole lot. "It is important for me to find the right environment of a club, where I can play but as yet there have been no decisions, but I will not return to the Netherlands. "I don't know what's going to happen, but if nothing happens, I'll do preseason with Madrid and it's a great chance to show myself."

Real Madrid are thought to still have high hopes for Odegaard, but they would reportedly be willing to let him go on loan again.

Date: 30th May 2018 at 3:02pm
Written by: Wayne Howard

West Ham could pull the plug on their pursuit of Barcelona defender Marlon Santos amid reports in Spain a deal worth £15.7million is done, according to the Guardian. The newspaper claim the Hammers have reservations about pushing through the capture of the centre-back, 22, due to concern as to whether his 5ft 11in physique is well enough equipped for English football. Mundo Deportivo claimed earlier today (Wednesday) that Santos has already agreed the terms of a five-year contract with West Ham and talks over the fee are advanced but the Guardian claim a bid has not yet been lodged by the London club.


Have the Spanish media got ahead of themselves over the transfer of Santos to the Premier League? Or are West Ham about to make an epic U-turn? Certainly, it appears they have got cold feet over pushing through a signing that is major money by their standards. Only a few players in the Hammers' history have cost more than £16million, and the club have had their fingers burned over a few of the big-money captures. One thing is for sure, Santos' height is not going to change, so new manager Manuel Pellegrini and the board need to decide whether he is the answer to their team's chronic defensive problems. The Brazilian is not small, but he is far from a giant, and height matters in the Premier League. Contesting aerial balls is a key part of the job description, although plenty of players of similar height to Santos have had an outstanding spring and punched far above their weight – so to speak – in the air. Tim Cahill and Les Ferdinand are two examples. Moreover, Santos has other qualities. He is mobile, technically good and reads the game well. Buy a giant alongside him and West Ham could be in business.

Should West Ham swoop for Sam Johnstone after Villa's play-off failure?
Tom Seymour

Sam Johnstone will not be joining Aston Villa from Manchester United so should West Ham United finally make their move? The financial implications for Aston Villa after losing to Fulham in the Championship playoff final could be hugely damaging for the club. The Telegraph reports that they are now in serious danger of breaking Financial Fair Play rules next season after failing to secure their return to the Premier League. The budget will therefore be much more strict for next term, with captain John Terry expected to leave after his contract expires and moves to sign loan trio Lewis Grabban, Sam Johnstone and Robert Snodgrass permanently having been scrapped. The news that Johnstone will not be heading back to Villa from parent club Manchester United could well be greeted in a positive fashion at West Ham United, though. As reports, the Hammers have kept tabs on the goalkeeper in the past with Joe Hart returning to Manchester City after an unsuccessful loan spell and Adrian expected to be sold. This interest was reported since Manuel Pellegrini was named as the new manager, however, and the Mirror has since claimed that Reims stopper Edouard Mendy is on the radar, but perhaps now is the perfect opportunity to make the most of Johnstone's availability.

West Ham United FC transfer news: Five-year deal for Marlon close to completion - reports
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

West Ham are closing in on Barcelona starlet Marlon Santos and could complete a five-year deal for the defender in the coming days, according to reports in Spain.
The 22-year-old joined the Catalan giants from Fluminense in 2016, but only appeared three times in Barca's first team before joining Nice on a two year-long loan deal. The Brazilian has made 27 appearances for the Ligue 1 club this season and his impressive performances have caught the attentions of West Ham. And, according to Mundo Deportivo, the Hammers are closing in on capturing Santos for around £12m. The defender could complete his move to the Premier League in the coming days and he is set to sign a long-term deal at the London Stadium.

Date: 30th May 2018 at 12:50pm
Written by: Laura OLeary

West Ham supporters deserve to be brought to their feet next season for positive reasons and the arrival of Adama Traore would achieve that goal. Hammers fans endured a miserable time in the latest season, with the club's co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan hardly bringing in the good times like they were expected to at least try to do. However the pair would instantly be redeemed, at least until their next faux pas, by splashing the cash on signing Middlesbrough's Traore in this window. It is believed that Newcastle United are in pursuit of the electric winger's services ahead of next season, according to a report by the Yorkshire Post, with Boro potentially wanting £15million for his services.
At that price, Sullivan and Gold wouldn't have to dig that deep into their pockets to make fans happy after terrible 2017/18 campaign. Traore dazzled football fans last season with his displays in the 40 games he featured in, with his performances not only being appreciated by Boro fans but by neutrals too. The 22-year-old's exciting style of football, that at times allows him to break out the party tricks, is a joy to watch and he would become a Hammers favourite in no time. Traore's electric ability also provides results, with him scoring five goals, while creating 12 to help Boro reach the Championship play-offs. With the winger in Manuel Pellegrini's squad the good times would surely follow his arrival at the London Stadium so the Hammers must hijack the Magpies' pursuit of the attack-minded player. If successful the show stealing player will end next season as the Hammers very own one-man highlight reel and the bad memories of the 2017/18 would soon wash away.

Man City to end West Ham's pursuit of Phil Foden
By Josh Challies - May 30, 2018 0
Forever WestHam

West Ham are seeking a number of exciting additions in the summer transfer market but may need to reassess some of their options. The Hammers have been attributed with an interest in Manchester City starlet Phil Foden, with the east London side said to be keen on taking the 18-year-old on-loan next season. Foden caught the eye with England's U17 side last summer, scoring a brace in the World Cup final, and has pushed his way into Pep Guardiola's first-team this season.
While opportunities at a senior level have been limited, the departure of Yaya Toure could present the teenager with the chase to become a more regular name in the first-team. As such, The Telegraph reports that Manchester City will block any approach for Foden this summer and Guardiola does not want to send the starlet on-loan. Foden will be awarded a lucrative new contract at the Etihad Stadium and Guardiola is keen to see him fight for first-team football with the Premier League champions next term.

West Ham United signing Leander Dendoncker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek would give Manuel Pellegrini loads of creativity to call upon
John Verrall

West Ham United have been linked with the two midfielders ahead of the summer transfer window. If West Ham United can bring in both Leander Dendoncker and Ruben Loftus-Cheek this summer, then Manuel Pellegrini will have all the tools he needs to provide attacking football at the London Stadium next season. Pellegrini has arrived at West Ham and claimed that he wants to play an attractive style of football. To do so, he is going to need an injection of creativity, and Dendocker and Loftus-Cheek would provide that. Dendoncker has been said to be a West Ham target by the Daily Mail, while The Sun (29th May, page 52) report that Loftus-Cheek is on Pellegrini's radar. Dendoncker is generally used as a defensive shield in midfield, but his technical ability would also be key. Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, would add power and creativity to the Hammers midfield ranks. If West Ham could have a trio of Loftus-Cheek, Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic on the pitch at the same time, then West Ham would have a midfield line-up which would be the envy of most Premier League sides. And Pellegrini's options would start to look far better ahead of next season.

Declan Rice to captain Ireland in the future - Shane Duffy
Cian Tracey
May 30 2018 2:30 AM

Shane Duffy has backed Declan Rice to become a future Ireland captain. Amid all the mediocrity during Ireland's disappointing 2-0 defeat by France in Paris, the 19-year-old showed glimpses of his undoubted potential. Rice started the game sitting in front of the back four, before finishing it alongside Duffy at the heart of defence, and the Derry native was suitably impressed. "He is so comfortable in all the positions he plays in," Duffy said. "But you don't want him to be one of those who can play anywhere - you want him to settle down into a position. "I think he is going to go right to the top. He will captain Ireland some day.


"Declan can be here for many years so we have to be careful with him and let him develop - as his club are doing with him, but it's a joy to see him coming in so early and it's good for everyone. "He is a big voice in there too. He's not shy. He's a good lad with a good head on his shoulders."

Ireland will be desperate to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat when they play the USA on Saturday. It's been a poor run of form from Martin O'Neill's side, who, since being thumped 5-1 by Denmark, have lost back-to-back friendlies against Turkey and France. Results aside, the performances have also been very disappointing. O'Neill may be looking to build a new team, but based on the evidence that we have seen so far, it will be a long and difficult process. The highs of the Euros two years ago are now very much a distant memory as Ireland face another summer of watching the World Cup from afar. A massive improvement will be expected against the US, but Duffy warned that it won't be easy. "They are no mugs and it will be another tough game," the Brighton defender insisted. "Thee defeats in-a-row - we don't want to make that four. We haven't played in Dublin since Denmark and we want to give the fans something to shout about."

Ireland were played off the park by a classy French side on Monday evening, yet O'Neill will have been furious by the manner in which they conceded the two goals. The first came from a corner that Ireland failed to deal with, while the second was off the back of a howler from goalkeeper Colin Doyle. "If you are going to get beaten by France, you want them to carve you open and be too good for you, but we gave them the two goals which was disappointing," Duffy admitted. "We had a good shape about us and we defended well. You look at their forward line and they are all world-class players, but the lads dug deep. "It was a good game to play in. You have to be realistic about who we were playing. They could easily win the World Cup."

Pellegrini nears first West Ham signing, Marlon to sign five-year deal
Olly Dawes

West Ham United are reportedly set to sign Barcelona defender Marlon Santos. Reports in recent days have linked Barcelona defender Marlon Santos with a move to West Ham United – and Mundo Deportivo report that a deal is set for completion. The Hammers appointed ex-Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini as their new boss last week, replacing David Moyes in the London Stadium hot-seat, and the Chilean will be looking to strengthen his squad. It now seems that Pellegrini is on the verge of landing his first signing as West Ham boss, and it will be a much-needed boost to his options in the heart of his defence.
Mundo Deportivo report that West Ham are set to agree a deal with Barcelona for defender Marlon Santos after days of speculation, with a five-year contract prepared for the Brazilian. It's claimed that the fee involved will be €15million (£13million), but could rise to €18million (£15.7million) in the future, whilst it hasn't been ruled out that Barcelona could have a buy-back clause in the deal. Marlon, 22, joined Barca on loan from Fluminense in his native Brazil back in 2016, and having mostly featured for Barcelona B whilst making two first-team appearances for the club, he signed permanently last summer. The defender, standing at 6ft tall, was sent out on a two-year loan deal to French side Nice, but after one year with the club, his loan will be ripped up in order to facilitate his West Ham move.
Marlon's season with Nice wasn't consistently impressive, but West Ham will now hope to help the defender fulfil some untapped potential during his time in East London.

The winners and losers of Manuel Pellegrini's West Ham revolution
Some players are set to thrive under the boss but some might struggle to have a role
Football London
By Sam Inkersole West Ham Correspondent
23:00, 29 MAY 2018

Manuel Pellegrini is set to stamp his authority on West Ham this summer when he is handed a £75m transfer kitty to do some damage on the market with. The new Hammers boss is ready to bring his backroom staff that has served him for more than a decade with him to the capital and we have seen the team that served under David Moyes and Slaven Bilic already depart the club. The 64-year-old has said he wants at least four or five new signings this summer to spend that £75m on which can be boosted by player sales as well that could see it rise to around £100m. After two seasons of struggle on the pitch at the London Stadium, the appointment of Pellegrini on an £8m-a-year deal shows intent and now he needs to be backed in the market, something David Gold has confirmed will happen this summer. But, away from transfers, the current playing staff - either on holiday or who have teamed up with their national sides ahead of the World Cup in Russia this summer - will also have a point to prove next season. With that in mind, who is set to benefit from the arrival of Pellegrini but on the contrary, who could find themselves struggling? Here, Hammers writer Sam Inkersole takes a look.


Manuel Lanzini

Pellegrini has a superb track record with developing and nurturing creative and attacking midfielders and that is something Lanzini should absolutely thrive on.
The Chilean worked wonders with the likes of David Silva at Man City, Isco at Malaga, Samir Nasri at City and Juan Roman Riquelme at Villarreal. Lanzini is the creative force of West Ham and if he plays well, the team plays well. The Argentine had a strong end to the 2017/18 campaign after struggling with injuries.
Discussions over a new contract for Lanzini to bring him in line with the likes of Michail Antonio, Javier Hernandez and others have yet to get underway but the appointment of his fellow South American could hopefully accelerate those.

Pellegrini's tactics like to play the ball through midfield, allowing someone like Lanzini to get a lot of touches of the ball to be creative and do damamge. His assist numbers should rocket under the Chilean.

Michail Antonio

Providing he can get back fit and stay fit, Antonio should be a player to benefit from the appointment of Pellegrini. Antonio is probably the quickest player in the Hammers ranks alongside Arthur Masuaku and the attacking style of the Chilean also relies on pacy wingers to deliver crosses into the box, Jesus Navas at Man City benefited from Pellegrini. With Manuel Lanzini ideally being the creative fulcrum of the team, he can get the ball in the pocket between midfield and defence and look to the wings for his widemen before continuing a run into the box. Pellegrini often plays with a rigid midfield four but they are pressed high up the pitch, not sitting back deep and narrow like we saw the three-man midfield do under David Moyes. There are rumours that Antonio could well be sold this summer but he might find it advisable to stick around as Pellegrini could well get him abck to his player of the year winning form.

Arthur Masuaku

Same as with Antonio, the quick wide man should flourish under Pellegrini and don't be surprised to him pushed into a left midfield role rather than a left back or left wing-back position. One thing Masuaku will certainly have to work on is his crossing and delivery from wide areas, it's too haphazard. He is one of the most skillful players in the squad, electric with the ball at his feet and has the ability to beat a defender with ease. In a midfield four, Masuaku will be needed to ensure width is always there on the left hand side, we have often seen him hug the touchline under Moyes and will need to do the same with Pellegrini. The prospect of Masuaku improving his delivery with low balls into the box for a waiting poacher is quite tantalising. Speaking of which...

Javier Hernandez

The Mexican striker didn't get much of a look in last season, particularly when Moyes was in charge but he should be handed a new lease of life under Pellegrini.
Much like Lanzini, the appointment of a fellow South American should be ideal for Chicharito, who will no doubt have a chip on his shoulder next season. Pacy wingers who can deliver low into the box with quality should be absolutely ideal for Hernandez, who obviously is at his best in the 18-yard box. Running in behind as well with Lanzini dropping dimes to him in behind the defence is a mouthwatering prospect. Javier Hernandez is world class when he is played to his strengths and Pellegrini's tactics really do suit him down to the ground.


Andy Carroll

Pellegrini is likely to go with a preference of Chicharito and Marko Arnautovic up front, meaning there is no room in the starting line up for Andy Carroll (if he is fit, that is). Carroll is unlikely to want to stick around for a bench role at the London Stadium next season, especially after his reaction in the dugout when he didn't come on against Manchester City which led to a fallout with former boss David Moyes. Pellegrini's attacking style means the ball is played a lot through midfield and that, quite clearly, doesn't suit Carroll's game as he doesn't run in behind. Carroll is a target man - a very good one on his day - but he just doesn't seem to fit in with the new manager's style of play. Add to that his contract runs out next summer, we could well see Carroll moved on this summer as Pellegrini re-shapes the squad.

Winston Reid

The New Zealand international and second-longest serving player at the club behind Mark Noble now James Collins has gone, is starting to spend far too much time on the treatment table in east London. Despite the departure of Collins, Pellegrini is looking to sign at least one, maybe two,centre backs this summer to partner with either Declan Rice or Angelo Ogbonna - or both. Either way though, Reid could struggle to get back into the West Ham side once he returns from a knee injury which ruled him out for two months at the end of the season. Having not long signed a long-term contract extension at the club as well, West Ham might decide to cash in on the centre back, especially if the manager brings in a replacement.

Jordan Hugill

The January transfer window signing managed just 22 minutes of football under David Moyes and probably won't see a lot more than that under Pellegrini either.
As with Carroll, Hugill is not likely to be the number one option up front and also like Carroll, doesn't really suit the new managers way of playing. He likes a big forward but they need to be a bit more mobile than Carroll and Hugill (Alvaro Negredo when he was at Manchster City is a prime example). Hugill was signed just in case West Ham dropped into the Championship. They didn't and for the striker it's likely to mean curtains in east London with at least another attacker expected to arrive during this summer.

Sam Byram

The right back hasn't managed to nail down a place in the West Ham team after arriving in 2016 thanks to a combination of unlucky injuries and not really standing out when he has played. Byram failed to get past Pablo Zabaleta for a starting berth last season before it ended prematurely anyway with a long-term injury that kept him out for the remainder of the campaign. The right back is one of the favourites to leave east London this summer and won't seemingly figure under Pellegrini, especially if he follows up on long-term transfer target for the club Ryan Fredericks.


Wednesday, May 30

Daily WHUFC News - 30th May 2018

Chicharito and Mexico frustrated in Wales stalemate

Chicharito endured a frustrating evening on his 101st appearance for Mexico
as El Tri were held to a goalless draw by Wales on Monday night. The West
Ham United striker was named in the starting XI at the Rose Bowl in
Pasadena, California, but the huge 82,345-strong crowd, the vast majority of
whom were supporting Mexico, did not have a goal to cheer about thanks in
large part to Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. The Crystal Palace stopper
made a number of important saves and interventions to help Ryan Giggs' young
side secure a deserved share of the spoils. One of just two regular starters
to be named in Juan Carlos Osorio's XI, the Hammers forward was withdrawn
after 59 minutes, with Oribe Peralta replacing him for the final half-hour.
The 29-year-old and his teammates will hope for better luck in front of goal
when they return home to Mexico City to face Scotland at the Azteca Stadium
on Saturday evening. The two matches against British opposition, and a third
against Denmark in Copenhagen on Saturday 9 June, will help Mexico prepare
for the upcoming FIFA World Cup finals in Russia, where they face Germany,
South Korea and Sweden in the group stage.

Hammers star Rice makes second Ireland start in France defeat

West Ham United teenager Declan Rice continued his football education by
making his second senior start for the Republic of Ireland in Monday's
defeat by France.
The 19-year-old, who enjoyed a breakout 2017/18 season in Claret and Blue,
was named in central midfield by Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, pitting him
against the likes of Juventus' Blaise Matuidi, Bayern Munich's Corentin
Tolisso and Sevilla's Steven N'Zonzi. While Ireland lost 2-0 in a rain-swept
Paris, Rice was again impressive, patrolling in front of the back four on a
night when the Irish struggled to keep possession against a strong French
team. The goals came in a four-minute spell just before half-time, with both
owing a little to luck. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring, powering a
trademark header towards goal from a corner, only to see Ireland captain
Seamus Coleman block his effort with inches to spare. The ball eluded
goalkeeper Colin Doyle and fell to the Chelsea forward, who prodded over the
line at the second attempt. Even then, Coleman made a heroic effort to keep
the ball out, but Giroud ultimately prevailed. Then, a minute before
half-time, Nabil Fekir collected the ball on the left corner of the Ireland
penalty area and cut onto his right foot. Rice attempted to close down the
Lyon forward, but when Fekir got his shot away, Doyle was unable to deal
with it, parrying the ball into the air before seeing it loop agonisingly
into the net. Ireland blooded a number of other young players during the
second half at the Stade de France, with Rice reverting to a central
defensive role for the final 20 minutes and helping keep the scoreline more
than respectable.

The West Ham youngster and his international teammates will complete the
season on Saturday, when the United States – who beat Bolivia 3-0 later on
Monday – visit the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for the second time.

Andy Carroll 'honoured' to take part in Dirk Kuyt Testimonial

Andy Carroll has spoken of his pride at making a goalscoring appearance in
former Liverpool teammate Dirk Kuyt's star-studded Testimonial. The West Ham
United centre forward was one of dozens of top names to take part in the
event, which saw Team Friends of Dirk take on Team Feyenoord – the Dutch
club where Kuyt enjoyed two successful spells – and a Netherlands all-star
line-up named Team Oranje in Rotterdam.

Carroll, who spent 18 months playing alongside the recently-retired
Netherlands forward at Anfield between January 2011 and May 2012, was joined
in the Team Friends of Dirk XI by, among others, ex-Hammers and Reds players
Yossi Benayoun and Craig Bellamy and Liverpool heroes Steven Gerrard, Jamie
Carragher, Jerzy Dudek and Luis Garcia.

Team Oranje featured Dutch greats Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder,
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Memphis Depay, Robin van Persie, Phillip Cocu and
Edwin van der Sar, while Team Feyenoord numbered Pierre van Hooijdonk, Ryan
Babbel and Ron Vlaar.

The teams were coached by Dutch management royalty in Ruud Gullit, Ronald
Koeman and Louis van Gaal, while Kuyt himself turned out for all three!

The Hammers' No9 was only too happy to be part of Kuyt's celebrations in
front of a capacity crowd at Feyenoord's De Kuip stadium. "It was a great
turnout for Dirk, to be fair," said Carroll. "There were some absolute
legends there, so it was an honour to be invited to be there with Dirk, his
family and so many top players. It was nice to score a goal to top it off,
too! "I had a great time playing alongside Dirk at Liverpool as we linked up
well together and helped the team get some good results, including winning
the League Cup in 2012. He was one of my best pals in the dressing room, he
always backed me as a player and we also had lots of laughs together. He's a
good mate. "He's had an amazing career, getting over 100 caps for Holland,
scoring hundreds of goals and winning titles wherever he has been. The
players who turned out for his Testimonial show just how much respect
everyone has for him as a player and as a person."

Fittingly, Carroll marked his appearance with a goal as Team Friends of Dirk
beat Team Feyenoord 3-2. Van Persie then scored twice as Team Oranje beat
Team Feyenoord by the same scoreline, but not before Kuyt had scored a
last-minute penalty to end the event on a memorable high. The Testimonial
raised funds for the Dirk Kuyt Foundation, an organisation set up by the
former Liverpool player to promote sporting events across his home country.

All you need to know about West Ham's summer internationals

While the summer holidays have begun for the majority of professional
footballers, a number of West Ham United players are instead looking forward
to a summer of international action. Seven senior players have jetted off to
represent their respective nations, with Declan Rice, Cheikhou Kouyate,
Manuel Lanzini, Edimilson Fernandes, Marko Arnautovic, Chicharito and Sead
Haksabanovic all in action. Three of the seven are definitely off to the
FIFA World Cup finals in Russia while a fourth, Fernandes, could join them
if he is named in Switzerland's final 23-man squad. With three Academy
prospects also receiving call-ups, we've got the full details of who will be
playing and where over the next few weeks...

Which Hammers have been called-up for international duty?

A total of ten West Ham players have been called-up by their respective
nations, including seven at senior level and a further three at age-group
level. They are…

Marko Arnautovic (Austria), Manuel Lanzini (Argentina), Chicharito (Mexico),
Edimilson Fernandes (Switzerland), Sead Haksabanovic (Montenegro), Cheikhou
Kouyate (Senegal), Declan Rice (Republic of Ireland), Nathan Trott (England
U21) Martin Samuelsen (Norway U21) and Domingos Quina (Portugal U19).

Who is off to the FIFA World Cup finals and who will they play against?

Senegal captain Kouyate, Argentina midfielder Lanzini and Mexico's all-time
leading goalscorer Chicharito have all been named in their country's final
23-man squads for Russia 2018.

Lanzini could be the first Hammer in action at the World Cup as Argentina
kick-off their Group D campaign by facing debutants Iceland at the Spartak
Stadium in Moscow on Saturday 16 June at 2pm UK time.

The following day, Sunday 17 June, Chicharito will face the daunting
challenge of breaching the back line of defending champions Germany, who
they face in their Group F opener at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium at 4pm UK

Kouyate's Lions of Teranga will begin their World Cup quest on Tuesday 19
June, when they face Poland at Spartak Stadium in Group H, with kick-off at
4pm UK time.

The second round of fixtures will see Argentina tackle Croatia in Nizhny
Novgorod at 5pm on Thursday 21 June, Mexico face South Korea in
Rostov-On-Don at 4pm on Saturday 23 June and Senegal take on Japan in
Ekaterinburg on Sunday 24 June at 4pm.

The final round of group-stage games will see Argentina up against Nigeria
in St Petersburg at 7pm on Tuesday 26 June, Mexico take on Sweden in
Ekaterinburg at 3pm the following afternoon and Senegal tackle Colombia in
Samara at 3pm on Thursday 28 June.

What about Edmilson Fernandes?

Well, he has been named in Switzerland's provisional 26-man squad, three of
which will be cut after the warm-up fixture with Spain in Villarreal on
Sunday 3 June.

With four goalkeepers in Vladimir Petkovic's preliminary squad, Fernandes
will be hoping to join his cousin and namesake Gelson and former West Ham
United midfielder Valon Behrami on the plane to Russia, where they will face
Brazil, Serbia and Costa Rica in Group E.

Joao Mario, who spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham
from Inter Milan, is in Portugal's final 23-man squad alongside former
Hammer Jose Fonte.

What about the other senior internationals?

Hammer of the Year Marko Arnautovic and Austria have a trio of international
friendly matches against World Cup qualifiers in Russia, Germany and Brazil.

The 69-cap, 19-goal forward welcomes the World Cup hosts to the Tivoli
Stadion in Innsbruck on Wednesday 30 May before Germany visit the
Worthersee-Stadion in Klagenfurt on Saturday 2 June. The Germany game will
be shown live in the UK by BT Sport 2, with kick-off at 4.45pm.

Finally, five-times World Cup winners Brazil will be the visitors to the
Ernst Happel Stadion in Arnautovic's home city of Vienna on Sunday 10 June.

Elsewhere, Rice earned his second Republic of Ireland cap in a 2-0 friendly
defeat in France on Monday 28 May, and could win his third when the United
States visit Dublin on Saturday 2 June.

And finally, teenage attacker Haksabanovic was an unused substitute as
Montenegro drew 0-0 in Bosnia & Herzegovina on Monday 28 May, and will hope
for minutes when they host Slovenia in Podgorica on Saturday 2 June.

What about the younger lads?

Ajibola Alese's summer commitments are already over, as the defender played
his part in helping England reach the semi-finals of the UEFA European U17

Elsewhere, Nathan Trott has joined England U21s at the Toulon Tournament in
France, but in a training-only capacity, while Martin Samuelsen is with
Norway U21s for a training camp and friendly with Eliteserien club Valerenga
in Oslo on Tuesday 5 June.

Domingos Quina is with Portugal U19s at the Toulon Tournament, where he
started his country's opening 0-0 draw with Canada on Monday 28 May. The
Portuguese will take on Japan on Thursday 31 May and Turkey on Sunday 3

What's the full list of fixtures for the West Ham players involved in this
month's internationals?

(All times GMT)

Wednesday 30 May 2018
Manuel Lanzini, Argentina v Haiti, Friendly, Buenos Aires, 12.00am
Marko Arnautovic, Austria v Russia, Friendly, Innsbruck, 7.45pm

Thursday 31 May 2018
Cheikhou Kouyate, Luxembourg v Senegal, Friendly, Luxembourg, 7pm
Domingos Quina, Portugal v Japan, Toulon Tournament, Vitrolles, 5pm

Saturday 2 June 2018
Marko Arnautovic, Austria v Germany, Friendly, Klagenfurt, 5pm
Sead Haksabanovic, Montenegro v Slovenia, Podgorica, 7.15pm
Declan Rice, Republic of Ireland v United States, Friendly, Dublin, 8.08pm

Sunday 3 June 2018
Chicharito, Mexico v Scotland, Friendly, Mexico City, 1am
Domingos Quina, Portugal v Turkey, Toulon Tournament, Fos, 5.30pm
Edimilson Fernandes, Spain v Switzerland, Friendly, Villarreal, 8pm

Tuesday 5 June 2018
Martin Samuelsen, Norway U21 v Valerenga, Friendly, TBC

Saturday 9 June 2018
Manuel Lanzini, Israel v Argentina, Friendly, TBC
Chicharito, Denmark v Mexico, Friendly, Copenhagen, 8pm

Sunday 10 June
Marko Arnautovic, Austria v Brazil, Friendly, Vienna, 3pm

Saturday 16 June 2018
Manuel Lanzini, Argentina v Iceland, FIFA World Cup Group D, Moscow, 2pm

Sunday 17 June 2018
Chicharito, Germany v Mexico, FIFA World Cup Group F, Moscow, 4pm

Tuesday 19 June 2018
Cheikhou Kouyate, Senegal v Poland, FIFA World Cup Group H, Moscow, 4pm

Thursday 21 June 2018
Manuel Lanzini, Argentina v Croatia, FIFA World Cup Groupd D, Nizhny
Novgorod, 5pm

Saturday 23 June 2018
Chicharito, Mexico v South Korea, FIFA World Cup Group F, Rostov-On-Don, 4pm

Sunday 24 June 2018
Cheikhou Kouyate, Senegal v Japan, FIFA World Cup Group H, Ekaterinburg, 4pm

Tuesday 26 June 2018
Manuel Lanzini, Argentina v Nigeria, FIFA World Cup Group D, St Petersburg,

Wednesday 27 June 2018
Chicharito, Mexico v Sweden, FIFA World Cup Group F, Ekaterinburg, 3pm

Thursday 28 June 2018
Cheikhou Kouyate, Senegal v Colombia, FIFA World Cup Group H, Samara, 3pm

Betis talk is premature, says Adrian
Filed: Tuesday, 29th May 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's only senior goalkeeper has dismissed reports linking him with a
return to his former club. Speaking in an interview with Radio Marca
Sevilla, West Ham's Spanish goalkeeper Adrian admitted that he was honoured
to be linked with a return to Real Betis - the club from whom West Ham
signed him in 2013.
However he refused to discuss the possibility of returning to La Liga this
summer, stating that he intended to see out the final year of his contract
at West Ham before making a decision on his long term future. I have one
more year left on my contract [at West Ham] and first I have to listen to
the opinion of my club and see whether they trust me," he said. "The
rumours regarding Betis have always been there. There have been quite a few
movements [at West Ham] since last season ended, they are refreshing the
team which is perhaps good for us. "Now I need to learn Pellegrini's
opinion of me. We have to to sit down and arrive at the best decision for
everyone, to see if they trust me and give me the opportunity to continue
playing. "I've been at West Ham for five seasons and I do not have to anyone
the level I'm at. However at the moment, they have not told me anything."
The 31-year-old signed for West Ham on a free transfer in the summer of
2013, initially signing a two year deal with the option of a further two
years. In 2015 when he was awarded an identical 'two plus two' contract,
with the additional two-year clause -keeping him at West Ham until the
summer of 2019 - triggered by West Ham last summer.

West Ham keen on Genoa's Armando Izzo and Barcelona's Marlon Santos
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 29/05/18 7:18pm

West Ham are in talks to sign Genoa defender Armando Izzo and are also
interested in Barcelona's Marlon Santos, Sky sources understand. Izzo joined
Genoa from Serie B side Avellino in 2014 after beginning his career with
hometown club Napoli. The 26-year-old's impressive performances this season
have seen him linked with a number of Serie A clubs despite his current deal
running until 2022. But West Ham, who appointed Manuel Pellegrini as their
new boss last week, are also keen to land the defender to help shore up
their backline.
Sky sources understand West Ham are also interested in signing Barcelona
centre-back Marlon Santos who spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 side
Nice. Former Manchester City head coach Pellegrini penned a three-year deal
to succeed David Moyes as Hammers boss. The Chilean said he wanted to play
attacking football and was hopeful of bringing in "four or five players" in
order to strengthen the team for next season. West Ham finished 13th last
season but had the joint-worst defence in the Premier League along with
Stoke, conceding 68 goals in 38 matches.

West Ham United should look to sign Adama Traore this summer, with his
asking-price halved
John Verrall

West Ham United have been linked with the Middlesbrough man in recent times.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Middlesbrough value Adama Traore at
£15 million, which makes him look a much more appealing prospect for West
Ham United. The Daily Mirror claimed that West Ham wanted Traore, but at £30
million he looked like a risky signing. The Boro man may have all the
attributes to become a star, but he still has a lot of developing to do,
before he fulfils his potential. At £30 million, the transfer looked
extremely expensive, and would have to have been considered a gamble.
However, for half that fee, Traore could be a superb addition for the
Hammers. Traore looks to have the ability to be worth much more than £15
million, if West Ham can unlock his potential. The winger is blessed with so
much power and pace, that he is nightmare to defend against. There has been
times where Traore's feet have worked quicker than his brain, but the former
Barcelona man has started to look a real threat at Championship level this
season. And at £15 million, he is starting to look a bargain, considering
his mammoth asking price when West Ham were first linked.

What could West Ham's reported interest in Marlon mean for Oxford?
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United have been linked with the Brazilian but could it prevent the
Hammers youngster from belatedly breaking through? If Spanish publication
Mundo Deportivo is to be believed, West Ham United are planning a summer
swoop for Barcelona centre-back Marlon Santos, but what could that mean for
a current Hammers player desperate for a belated breakthrough? Reece Oxford
looked to have made his mark when he was only 16, starring in a Premier
League victory against Arsenal and reinforcing the old adage about youth and
talent. However, fast-forward a few years and the now-19-year-old is
seemingly no nearer the West Ham first-team, spending this season on loan at
Borussia Monchengladbach but managing only eight senior outings in the
process. The appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as new Hammers boss gives
Oxford a new man to impress but, despite confirming his return to London at
the end of his stint in the Bundesliga, the teenager is likely to be keeping
a close eye on the gossip columns in the months ahead. At just 22, Marlon is
an exciting and talented centre-back in his own right, as his successful
loan spell at Nice emphatically proved and, were he to arrive at the London
Stadium, he could be the latest roadblock in Oxford's path towards
first-team recognition. With Declan Rice excelling this season and Marlon so
young, a move for the latter could be the decision that ultimately ends
Oxford's stay at West Ham. Conversely he could see it as the challenge to
prove his worth to Pellegrini and ensure he remains at the Hammers for years
to come. Whatever happens, expect it to be a very interesting summer for
West Ham's players and fans alike.

The Pellegrini & Husillos axis had success at Malaga and the signs are good
for West Ham
The Argentine is expected to be named as West Ham's next head of recruitment
and joining new manager Manuel Pellegrini once again
By Colin Millar
Football London
14:30, 29 MAY 2018

The outcome had no significance, yet on a typically sunny afternoon along
Spain's Costa del Sol, this felt like the nadir for Malaga. They were
hosting mid-table Real Sociedad but despite five matches remaining in the
campaign, the Andalusians were relegated. Levante's last-minute winner three
days earlier had put the club out of their misery, less than five years
after reaching the Champions League quarter-final. The Fonda Sur section –
reserved for the most vocally supportive element within Malaga's La Rosaleda
stadium – lay empty for the first five minutes as a form of protest against
the running of the club. Swathes of empty seats elsewhere captured the
apathy. As fans slowly re-entered in the fifth minute, the chants started:
"Al Thani vete ya", sang the fans, requesting the club's president – a
member of Qatari's ruling family – leaves the club. Then it turned to "Jose
vete ya", in reference to the club's coach Jose Gonzalez. The players were
not exempt from the criticism: "Jugadores mercinarios" (mercenary players),
sang the fans. Finally, there was a scattering of 'Husillos vete ya' – the
club's sporting director Mario Husillos also must go.
Malaga won the game 2-0 amidst a poisonous atmosphere. Their fifth win of
the season, but they were whistled off with white handkerchiefs. They failed
to pick up a point in their remaining four games. The undeniable feeling
around the club was that relegation must prompt a total clear out from the
top down, starting with president Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani. Husillos had
returned to the club six months earlier, following the dismissal of
predecessor Franscesc Arnau. Remarkably, it was the sixth time the Argentine
had joined the club – he signed for three separate spells in his playing
career, went on to coach their B side and this was his third stint as
transfer guru. His first spell in the role coincided with new West Ham boss
Manuel Pellegrini's final season at Malaga, when the club reached the
Champions League last eight. Only unfortunate officiating decisions
prevented Los Boquerones, who had never before competed in the competition,
from reaching the last eight.
Within Spain, Husillos forged a strong reputation in working together with
club academies and helping build bridges to help their progression into the
first-team squad. He was particularly valued at Malaga for his ability to
negotiate big profits on player sales, as he demonstrated when sanctioning
moves to Arsenal for Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal. Pellegrini's departure
to Manchester City also saw a change in sporting director – who are hired
and fired regularly across Spain – but he was return to La Rosaleda six
months later. Al Thani was overseeing major cutbacks at the club; despite an
initial wave of investment he was seemingly getting cold feet and wanted to
draw upon the skills of Husillos to stop the outward flow of cash.
The sporting director secured cut-price deals for Moroccan forward Nordin
Amrabat, Ivorian defender Arthur Boka, Venezuelan Roberto Rosales,
midfielder Ricardo Horta from Portugal and Mexican shot-stopper Guillermo
Ochoa. The money generated from the exits of Isco, Joaquin, Jeremy Toulalan
and Sergi Darder was not reinvested back into the first-team squad. Despite
a perceived regression in ability, Malaga defied the odds to secure
successive top-half finishes. The era of Al Thani austerity had appeared to
extinguish any hopes of further European exploits yet equally, a flourishing
youth system and astute transfer policy appeared to be establishing their
status within Spain's top flight.
Last season, they finished 15 points clear of relegation but this time it
all went wrong. Husillos had left his role in December 2015, making way for
Arnau. However, the former Barca goalkeeper was used as a human bodyguard by
Al Thani and took the heat for a weak 2017 transfer window which in turn led
to a disastrous start to the season. Top scorer Sandro Ramirez, midfield
powerhouse Ignacio Camacho and Spain international Pablo Fornals – whose
development, alongside his current Villarreal teammate Samu Castillejo, is
credited to Husillos – all departed. In October, Husillos was quoted by
Spanish media as returning to the club yet again: "I'm joining Malaga with
all the enthusiasm in the world and I'm very happy."
His work could not start until January, when the club had amassed just 11
points from 19 matches and sat rock bottom of La Liga. Eight players arrived
yet only one – Arsenal youth player Ignasi Miquel – commanded a transfer
fee. The Malaga ship had long since been sunk thanks to the administration
not only tightening their belts but also failing to provide any direction or
coherence off the pitch. This was at such stark contrast to the early days
of Al Thani's rein, when Pellegrini and Husillos combined to guide the club
to remarkable European nights.

The challenge at West Ham may prove just as tough.

Date: 29th May 2018 at 2:41pm
Written by: Wayne Howard
Forever WestHam

West Ham are reportedly in the hunt to sign AC Milan striker Fabio Borini
this summer – and fans have taken to Twitter to deliver an emphatic
The Italian transfer site Calcio Mercato claim the Hammers are keen to land
the former Liverpool, Sunderland and Chelsea forward even though he has just
converted a loan to Milan into a permanent move. It is said that West Ham
are closely monitoring Borini's situation but face competition from Napoli,
whose new manager Carlo Ancelotti knows the player from their Chelsea days.
The Italy international was a mainstay for Milan in the recently completed
domestic season, netting five goals and supplying seven assists from 44
matches in all competitions. West Ham fans have taken to social media to
criticise the striker link, claiming he struggled in the Premier League and
lacks the quality needed to spearhead their attack next season.

Nice president claims £18m bid made for West Ham target Marlon Santos
Danny Owen

Premier League duo West Ham United and Leicester City are reportedly keen on
Marlon Santos - who has been on loan at Nice from Barca. West Ham fans were
rightly disgusted by the treatment of James Collins, the long-serving
defender who was released after a decade of loyal service without ceremony
or even a testimonial. But at least supporters can take comfort in knowing
that a club frequently accused of lacking ambition seem intent on replacing
a 34-year-old with a far younger model. According to The Mail, West Ham are
interested in Barcelona's 22-year-old Brazilian Marlon Santos, who impressed
during a loan spell at Nice last season. It is understood that Marlon, who
moved to the Camp Nou from Fluminense in 2016 but has made just two La Liga
appearances since, faces an uncertain future at Barca. And, according to The
Sun, Leicester City are also keen on the £18 million-rated former Brazil U20
ace. And, speaking to Nice Martin, Nice president Jean-Pierre Riviere has
confirmed that an £18 million offer has been made for Marlon. The talented
centre-back is halfway through a two-year loan spell in France but seems
unlikely to return to Nice next season now. "Barcelona have received a 20
million euros offer for Marlon, so he should leave OGC Nice," Riviere told
Nice-Matin of Marlon, who started 22 Ligue 1 games last season as Nice
finished eighth under the new Dortmund boss Lucian Favre. It remains to be
seen, however, whether the offer came from West Ham or Leicester. An
excellent passer of the ball who boasts impressive athleticism and speed
across the ground, Marlon would be an excellent investment for West Ham and
a big upgrade on Collins.

Date: 29th May 2018 at 11:22am
Written by: Guy Giles
Forever West Ham

A consortium of cash-rich American investors are lining up a bid to buy the
London Stadium, according to Claret and Hugh. The Hammers insider website
report that the deal would take the ground out of state ownership, much like
the proposed deal from Shahid Khan to buy Wembley. Claret and Hugh claim
that the taxpayer could end up with a bill totalling £1billion in operating
losses over the Hammers' lease, with the investors potentially wiping that
debt out by buying the stadium at a fraction of it's building cost. It is
said however that the stadium could not be sold without the club's
permission, with an insider quoted as saying: "They can only sell to a
government department under our agreement."

West Ham may therefore have a big decision to make in the near future as the
ownership of the stadium comes under question in this new twist in the saga.

This is an interesting turn of events at the London Stadium, which has
caused far more problems than it has solved so far for the club. The move to
the 60,000-seater ground was seen as the next step in the club's evolution,
but so far it has turned out to be a poor move from the club after they
encountered endless teething problems following the move from Upton Park.
Most Hammers fans are still to be convinced about the London Stadium, with
the club giving up one of England's greatest football stadiums to move to a
lifeless shell of an arena. This latest development may end up causing
further problems for the club, who have a favourable deal in place at the
moment. While it is claimed that the stadium could not be sold without the
club's permission, it is not exactly known how far the club can go in
preventing this from happening.

STE HOARE @Stehoare

Galatasaray have joined West Ham in the race to sign Chievo Verona star
Samuel Bastien, according to L'Equipe. Everton, Nice and Napoli are also
interested in the 21-year-old, so the Hammers will have to beat off a lot of
competition in order to secure a deal for the Belgian midfielder. The
Belgian U21 international has less than a year remaining on his contract
with Verona, so the Serie A side could look to sell him this summer, rather
than losing him for free in 2019. Whilst West Ham are keen to bring Bastien
to the London Stadium, both Galatasaray and Napoli can offer him Champions
League football, which the Hammers obviously can not, and that could prove
to be a major stumbling block in any potential deal. However, West Ham look
like they'll still pursue a move for the Belgian, in the hope that he
decides that a transfer to the Hammers is the best move he can make at this

Date: 29th May 2018 at 10:52am

West Ham must find a way to leap over the hurdle that is stopping them from
welcoming Sporting's William Carvalho to the London Stadium this summer.
Football.London reported during a West Ham fan Q&A on Monday with the site,
that signing Carvalho would all come down to whether the two sides could
agree on deal for the midfielder after the transfer saga regarding the
player dragged on last summer. The Hammers unsuccessfully pursued the
26-year-old back in August, even making a £27million bid according to the
Daily Mail, only for Sporting to prove difficult to negotiate with. However
after another impressive season at the Portuguese giants it's clear that
Carvalho would be an impressive signing and a necessary one as he's exactly
what the Hammers currently lack. Manuel Pellegrini's side are short of
midfield options and need players capable of not just being a young pair of
legs in midfield, but must find someone capable of consistently winning the
battle for the ball in that area of the pitch. Carvalho ticks those boxes
and then several more on top. The enforcer featured 38 times across all
competitions in his recent campaign, making five appearances in the
prestigious Champions League, and his arrival would instantly take the
Hammers to the next level. Given the fact he's experienced in playing in
tournaments such as the Champions League and the fact he even helped his
nation, Portugal, lift the Euro 2016 trophy. Therefore even though Sporting
are no doubt still difficult to deal with in this transfer window, the
Hammers have to find away to strike a deal for the midfielder they so
desperately need.

Date: 29th May 2018 at 10:13am
Written by: Laura OLeary

West Ham defender Declan Rice has already shone brighter than many expected
after his antics in the 2017/18 season and yet he continues to progress at
an impressive rate. The blindingly bright Hammers talent may have only been
participating in a friendly match against France for the Republic of Ireland
on Monday, but his performance deserves having a spotlight thrust upon it.
Rice was utilised as a defensive midfielder, a position he has only played
in seven times for the Hammers, and looked able to cope with world-class
opponents more often than not. The 19-year-old was able to effectively tick
off another box on his development as he was able to prove that he could
cope with the likes of Lyon's Nabil Fekir and Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian
Mbappe despite their immense quality.
While his nation may have slipped to a 2-0 defeat, it wasn't down to Rice's
participation in the game as he oozed maturity in an unfamiliar role that
few do in their natural position.
Of course there were moments the teen could have done better in the game but
if you were to guess his level of experience, you would have suggested that
he had featured in the Premier League more than the 27 times he actually
has. The teen's immediate future at the London Stadium may see him be a lock
at centre-back but after seeing his potential in midfield, Manuel Pellegrini
must be aware he has options when it comes to Rice. The teen proved with his
latest display that he is a fresh option for the new boss to regularly take
in midfield, as he has only dabbled there in the past, without the manager
splashing the cash on a new recruit, as he ticked off another box by
performing so well against such talented opposition. Rice proved on Monday
night that his talent paints a sparkling picture of the Hammers' future as
not only is he able to excel in one position, he looks capable of
flourishing just as much in another.

West Ham United could benefit from Riyad Mahrez proposed transfer from
Leicester City
John Verrall

West Ham United may have been concerned that they were set to miss out on
Patrick Roberts. According to a report in the Daily Mail, Manchester City
are set to pay £75 million to land Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, and
that could be good news for West Ham United. Leicester had been considered
West Ham's main rival for Roberts, who is a transfer target of Manuel
Pellegrini, according to The Sun. At first it seemed Leicester had the
upper hand, as they were reportedly set to demand Roberts in a swap deal for
Mahrez. However, City appear to be on the verge of paying £75 million in
outright cash of the Algerian winger, which means Roberts could remain in
the market. If West Ham now want the youngster, they have a strong chance of
landing him. Leicester may have other targets on their radar, if they have
not requested Roberts in a deal for Mahrez. And West Ham could be able to
sign the 21-year-old without as much competition as first thought, if they
do make a move for the England youth international this summer.

An in-depth look at new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini's tactical
The manager introduced a much-vaunted 4-2-2-2 formation at Villarreal and
has stuck with it
By Sam Inkersole
West Ham Correspondent
09:44, 29 MAY 2018UPDATED09:55, 29 MAY 2018

Manuel Pellegrini is known as having a sharp tactical mind throughout his
career as a manager having arrived in Europe in 2004 having managed in
Argentina and his homeland of Chile. In July 2004 he arrived at Villarreal
and during his stay there, achieved a third place finish in La Liga in his
first season, a Champions League semi final the next season and a second
place league finish in 2007/08. He also transformed Malaga, taking them to
the Champions League quarter finals and had a stint at Real Marid for a
season, amassing 99 points but finishing second in his sole season.
Pellegrini is an advocate of getting the best out of an building around his
more creative players, at Villarreal that was Juan Roman Riquelme and at
Malaga, Isco.
"The Engineer" favoured this 4-2-2-2 formation he has made his own, often
mistaken for 4-4-2, at the Yellow Submarines which allowed Riquelme to
really flourish but was built on fullbacks bombing forward and acting as
wingers, which allowed the wide men to move inside an act as, essentially,
attacking midfielders. At Villarreal, he had Joan Capdevilla and Javi Venta
who were his fullbacks, at the time two of the best at getting forward but
also being defensively sound. Defensive midfielders Marcos Senna and Josico
covered for them if they did bomb forward. Riquelme took one of the
"striker" roles despite really being a midfielder as Santi Cazorla and Juan
Pablo Sorin occupied the "flanks" but drifted inside as fullbacks got
When Pellegerini left Villarreal to join Malaga, he took Cazorla with him
and it was incoming West Ham director of football and head of recruitment
Mario Husillos that made the masterstroke of brining back Isco to his
hometown when he was languishing in the Valencia B team and turned the now
Real Madrid man into a superstar. Isco was the main focal point of the
midfield, deployed on the left hand side but more often than not, drifting
inside and allowing the fullbacks to get forward, just like Pellegrini did
at Villarreal. Either Santi Cazorla or Joaquin took up the other flank, with
supplying Julio Baptista or Javier Saviola as the strikers.

With Pellegrini's 4-2-2-2 formation, it allows flexibility when playing
against possession-based teams (Man City under Pep Guardiola the prime
example) and allows him to easily switch to a more orthodox 4-2-3-1 or even
4-5-1. Speaking of Manchester City, Pellegrini arrived at the Etihad in 2013
and went on to win the Premier League in Manchester City with a vibrant,
attacking and free-flowing style of football that followed him from Spain to
England. It was often Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov deployed as his
wing-backs/wingers, with those those wingers moving into the interior of the
midfield in the shape of Samir Nasri and David Silva, supporting Sergio
Aguero and Alvaro Negredo or Edin Dzeko.

When it comes to the Hammers, Pellegrini has players at his disposal but he
may need to dip into the transfer market to make sure he can get those
disciplined enough. Pablo Zabaleta is unlikely to be able to do the job he
did for the Chilean at the Etihad these days, he certainly has the
capability over on the left though with Arthur Masuaku. Pedro Obiang should
be one of those covering midfielders but who lines up alongside him is up
for debate, it could be Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Edimilson Fernandes,
or someone new. The wide men shifting inside is likely to be Manuel Lanzini
and potentially Marko Arnautovic if Pellegrini prefers him out there as
opposed to a straight up centre forward, with Javier Hernandez (if he stays
at the club) and another striker - potentially Andy Carroll, you never know
- or a new face. Michail Antonio could also play in one of the wide
positions that allows Arnautovic to play in a role he was accustomed to
under David Moyes and excelled in for the second half of last season.

West Ham's Adrian doesn't have to prove 'anything to anyone' with future in
ES Sport

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian says he has nothing left to prove at London
Stadium and will sit down with new manager Manuel Pellegrini to discuss his
future at the club. The Spaniard, who has been left out of his country's
World Cup squad following an inconsistent season, has a year remaining on
his deal and will be the only remaining senior 'keeper with the Hammers
unlikely to make Joe Hart's loan deal permanent. The two exchanged the No1
spot under David Moyes, with Adrian ending the season as first choice and in
good form. With Pellegrini expected to have an unprecedented budget this
summer, there remains a lot to be decided with regards to his squad, but
Adrian remains relaxed over his position. "I have one more year left on my
contract. First, I have to listen to the opinion of my team and if they
trust me," the 31-year-old told Marca. "There have been quite a few
movements since we have been on holiday and they are refreshing the squad
that perhaps is what they wanted. "Now I must see Pellegrini's opinion of
me," he continued. "We have to sit down and arrive at the best decision for
everyone. Let's see if they trust me and give me the opportunity to continue
playing. "I've been there for five seasons and I do not have to prove
anything to anyone. At the moment they have not told me anything."

By Iain Dale 29 May 2018 at 08:00

The narrative seems to be that we need to strengthen in central midfield.
The two players we have most been linked with are William Cavalho and
Leonander Dendoncker – both are central midfielders who can also play in
central defence. The question is, are they better than what we have got?

Mark Noble
Mr Dependable certainly didn't let us down last season. In fact, he wasn't
far off getting the Hammer of the Year award. Just when people write him off
he bounces back. he played 29 games, scoring 4 goals, including that
incredible volley. His pace is never going to improve but he reads the game
so well. He's also a great captain. At some stage he's going to run out of
gas, but let's hope he's got at least a couple of seasons left in him at the
top level. It would be almost sacriligious if Pellegrini were to dispose of
his services.

Cheikhou Kouyate
OK, perhaps Kouyate didn't have his best season in a West Ham shirt but
anyone who wants rid of him needs their head read. He's a midfield
powerhouse, scores the occasional great goal and is an inspiration to the
rest of the team. He's at 28 and should be at his peak. I think we have more
to see from Kouyate and I'd be hugely disappointed if he left.

Pedro Obiang
Obiang had become a regular in the team before his major injury bit it was
good to see him back in the last game. In his three seasons with us he has
appeared 24, 22 and 21 times. Had he remained uninjured I have no doubt he'd
have played at least 30 games this season. His goalscoring record isn't
amazing. He has only scored three times, including the goal that bagged him
this year's goal of the season. There have been rumours of a move back to
Italy. I'd be sad if it happened, and if it does, surely he'd fetch £20
million. He's probably expendable if we can sign someone proven and better.

Josh Cullen
Josh has been almost ever present on the bench this season, appearing only
twice in the League and three times in cup games. But he's played well
whenever called upon and is still maybe one for the future. If we sold him
there would be a queue of Championship clubs who would want to buy him for
anything up to £4 million I'd have thought.

Edimilson Fernandes
I really think we need to hang on to Fernandes. It's a shame he spent aa
large part of the season injured, but whenever he's played he oozes
potential. He can tackle, he can dribble, he can shoot, he can pass. What
more does anyone want from a youngster? He may not be ready to start the
majority of games, but as a utility player he is without exception and can
play in any of the five midfield positions. If we did sell him we'd make a
decent return on the £5 million Slaven Bilic paid for him. There'd be no
shortage of takers.

Sead Haksobanovic
We haven't seen enough of the 19 year old to reallu judge his potential,
having only made two appearances in the cups. However, when he played
against Bolton I have to say I liked what I saw. One for the future,

Domingos Quina
Four cup appearances and a host of Premier League bench placements, but
there is still an air of unfulfilled potential about Quina. He needs to grab
his chances when they are presented to him. I still think he can make it.

Martin Samuelsen
It seems odd to say the least that Martin Samuelsen has played three times
for Norway but has yet to appear for West Ham. He's spent the last three
seasons out on loan to lower league clubs including Burton Albion for the
last half of season, where he played 9 times without troubling the scorers.
He is said to have really impressed. He's a tricky, skilful player, in the
Lanzini mold. He's 21 now. If he's to make the breakthrough it needs to be

Marcus Browne
I'm really excited about Marcus. He scored a hattrick for the Under 23s in
the last few weeks of the season, which will have given him a huge amount of
confidence. But he's 20 and next season will be crucial.

I suspect one or two of the youngsters will find their paths blocked and be
moved on before the end of August, and of the others Pedro Obiang looks the
most vulnerable. We definitely need one, maybe two big midfield signings.