Monday 30 July 2018

Ten Days To Go As Hammers Move For Midfield Backup

This season sees a much earlier end to the transfer window as clubs have agreed to tidy up business before the season kicks off, thus avoiding the early season chaos of the past. In previous seasons the transfer deadline was set for August 31, which meant that transfers continued for a weeks after the start of the season but under new agreed rules clubs will no longer be able to buy after August 9 (but will still be able to offload unwanted players to other clubs in Europe).

Looking over the squad it's clear that the Hammers have decent cover across their defence and have added a host of attacking options. With the front players coming from any of Arnautovic, Yarmolenko, Anderson, Antonio, Lanzini, Wilshere, Snodgrass, Hernadez and Carroll, Pellegrini has plenty of options, but it is in the defensive midfield berth where the resources look slim.

It looks very possible that both Pedro Obiang and Cheik Kouyate will depart, leaving Noble and Rice as our more experienced players for the role. Clearly back up will be needed but no clear target has emerged with much of the media attention focusing upon attacking midfielders and strikers. In reality, this reflects the more considered approach of recent times by the club where transfer activities are much less public - an approach that is almost certainly better for the club!

To that end, the club's new Director of Football Mario Husillos deserves credit. A quick scan of google reveals few pictures of Husillos since joining West Ham, emphasising his quiet but effective style. He has quietly built a squad that is stronger up top than in living memory. If he can sort out the defensive berths of midfield then we can look forward to the season with a genuine sense of hope - and even confidence!

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